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Faith and the Fast Life
Faith and the Fast Life

Episode 43 · 11 months ago

43. Dealing with Disappointment - Matt Cline

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week we talk to Matt Cline! Matt was on the path to the NHL before a devastating hit kept him from playing. Find out how God took this change and helped Matt find his calling.

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So good morning and welcome to the faith and the fast life podcast. We're so excited to have Matt Kline and restored community with us today. It's his ministry and Matt has an incredible story that's going to share with us today. For the listeners, as we jump on this, as this as this episode impacts you, don't hesitate to share it. Please jump on, follow and subscribe to our episodes and give us a rating. We've found out recently that that has so much power and getting this message heard more. The more you rate it, the more you like it and subscribe to it. So we encourage all the listeners to do that and without further ado, let's jump into Matt Kline and the restored community. Matt, welcome, thank you for being here this morning. Thank you, nick, thanks for having me. I followed what you've been doing for for a few months at least. Tonight. I just I love the ministry that you have, which is our ministry is unique, but you're our industry is unique to and I think it's just so good what you're doing. Some pomp to be here? Yeah, thank you for that, man. It's God has a purpose for all of us, right and so many people need to be reached. So what you're doing, what we're doing, what everybody's did with ministry, we encourage others to do as well, like get out there and reach somebody today, right. That's you never know who needs to be loved on or needs to hear the Gospel. They and that's what it's all about. But, man, we're here. We, you know, been following you do. It's amazing thing with restored community and we're going to get into that, man, let's do the story of Matt Client. Let's let's tell us about you. Sure. Yeah, I was I was five years old and well, actually before I was five, I was probably three years old, and my parents would put me in front of hockey night in Canada. Up here in Canada, and every Saturday night there's a couple NHL Games on and I have my water bottle on the coach and and every time a the camera would show a player drinking water on the TV, I drink my water too, and I just always wanted to play, wanted to play hockey, and so I ended up being pretty good right from from front from a young age, and I always played the top level with older kids, either a year older two years older. I'd always play the top level, I'd always be one of the top guys, and so I you know, I sometimes I joke is they I never even played a lego growing up. I just played hockey video games, I played hockey at the rink, I played hockey with friends, I played hockey in my garage and my basement, on the street. Everything was hockey. And so I came from a family of pastors. My Dad's a pastor and lots of my uncles and grandparents their pastors. Everybody's pastor, and so growing up people would say like, are you going to be a pastor? GROWING UP? Like now, I'm going to be a hockey guy. I'm going to be hockey player. And so, long story short, I was. I was fourteen years old and and coming into where you get drafted into playing junior hockey, and and the top level here junior is the Whel, the Western Hockey League, and and so agents started pursuing me and I didn't really know that that was going to happen, but they started, you know, following my parents in a parking lot was the first one, and then they'd come to my games and want to meet with me after and take me out for dinners and stuff, and so I wasn't the only one. A lot of the other top guys in western Canada had the same thing going on. But but that started happening and so the easy age agents were saying like you're going to play pro one day. We don't know what age you'll you'll get there, what level, but you'll play pro for sure. And so there's a draft to the WHEL when you're fourteen or fifteen, and I was. I was picked nineteen in the first round, nineteen out of, you know, all the kids in western Canada and western US, so Washington State, Montana, California, Oregon, the for western provinces in Canada. I was nineteen in the draft and and ended up playing junior a couple of years later in...

...in a town here called red deer. And in red dear it's a pretty esteemed program. The coach at the owner of the general manager. He he's from the stutter family, which hockey fans know. The Sutter family is like hockey royalty. There were six brothers, well, actually they're seven brothers, but six of them played in the NHL, and so it's a cool thing to play in red deer. It was one of the top it does, I guess, highest recognized teams. We weren't good, we are team. Wasn't one of the top teams, but as far as a recognition in the program, like they're like, man, if you could play for sutter, that'd be great. And so I went there and I ended up in my draft year being ranked about mid draft. At the start of the year they said I'd probably be drafted, you know, three or fourth round out of seven rounds in the draft, and my agent after game like you're going to be drafted, we just don't know where. And and after I after Christmas that year, I really just dropped the ball. I was emotionally immature. I face them turmoil, didn't know how to handle it and so I didn't play well. By the end of the year I was kind of on the bubble to be drafted and it didn't happen, which I kind of was expecting not to be drafted and it ended up going that way. But I got traded that year and that summer and a high profile trade. In our junior league there was a guy who was a first round pick in the NHL. His name is Martin Hansel and he's just retired in the last year or so for the NHL after fifteen years playing. But he was a he was the kind of a highly esteemed guy. He only wanted to play for a few teams and so he was holding out, not coming to league until one of these teams traded for him. And so for a year too, everybody is like, man like, where's hands all going to go? Where's hands all going to go? Well, I ended up being traded for him, and so it was finally this big thing like Martin hands. Will got traded formatt Kline and so I went over to to a town in BC called chilliwack, by Vancouver, and I was I was the first line center. Our coach, I remember, brought me and my wingers into our into the coach's office early in the season and said, you know, you guys were going to you guys are going to run the team for the next two years. You guys are going to be our Goto guys. And Nine Games into the year I hadn't scored yet. I was feeling pressure. I had so many chances, I had a few assists and and then I got hit by a guy who's about six seven he was a big guy. It was a clean hit, but I remember the feeling in my head was so the pain was so extreme lying on the ice that my I was kicking my legs and it just felt like my head was just pounding in like it was a hundred pounds. I had so much pain and and I didn't know it, but that was the last time I ever played hockey. I had headaches for six years after that and for especially the first year, really even struggle to walk upstairs without having to lie down after. And so at that point I had a huge identity crisis because all I had ever known was hockey. So as you're coming up to those ranks in your family's all pastors and other hockey players in your family? Yeah, there's hockey players, not high level, but my dad played hockey and my grandpa and so there's a few. Okay. So, you know, we always heard the PEK thing right and yeah, you know, seems like Pek's off and offen and stray. As you're coming up through this, are you walking with the Lord or is it what was the relationship like with Jesus at that point? Yeah, it's funny. You know, I always was a Christian for sure. I remember when I was six years old accepting the Lord and I think that he gave me a cool experience, which he doesn't have to give everybody need doesn't, but for me, when I was six, I asked Jesus into my heart and I physically felt something, like I physically felt something in my chest and it was just the way of the Lord saying to a Sixgir old boy, like I'm in you,...

I live in your heart now, and so it was always very real and I knew that he was in me. I never did rebel, I never became a party animal, but at the same time I would always hear people in Church talking about a relationship with Jesus and I was always confused. What is this relationship with Jesus? Like God is like he's something in this sky. He's way up there. How could you hear his voice? So I never understood relationship with Jesus. But when people would ask me like why don't you drink? Why don't you swear? Why don't you have sex, these things, I would just kind of go quiet because I'm like, I don't know. I didn't want to just come across like, well, Christianity is just about rules and following rules and you can't do things but through to be honest, I didn't know more than that. And so being a Christian was just don't go and party, don't chase girls, don't swear M and then I'm then the other hard thing for me was I had this addiction to pornography, but I didn't want to let people know, like hockey teammates, friends, I didn't want them to know that the Christian guy also watched porn and so I didn't want to open up there. But then in church I didn't want to open up because just a the shame of watching porn and so that was that kind of sums up my relationship, if you say, with Jeesus, even though it wasn't much of a relationship, more just following rules. Right, yeah, so rules. It was the religion of it, not the relationship of its rights. We talked about a lot on the on the podcast. Relationship, not religion. That's right. Okay, so so we get into junior's to take the big hit. WHO's the guy that hit? You Remember? Yeah, I'm pretty sure his name is Ryan Gillies and he probably doesn't even know. I wouldn't want him to know that he ended somebody's dreams. Well, it may have ended your dreams right, but God had a bigger plan. So so how tell us about that struggle, you know, tell us about as you come off of you know, obviously this is everything you ever wanted to do, this is where you were going, this is you know, you're overcoming the immaturity, you're going to get drafted, and now the lights go out. Yeah, and you struggle. So, like, what's next? Is I mean, obviously huge identity crisis. Tell us, tell us more. Yeah, sure. Yeah, I mean the Lord is so faithful and it's a good story that he wrote. The NHL draft, there's three years you can be drafted, and so the first year, when I was on the bubble, it didn't happen, but the second year, being that I was a top guy on my team, I thought, man, I got more opportunity, there's a couple more years I can play well and get drafted, and so that was kind of my where where I was at. But when I got hit, I didn't realize at the time that I was never going to play again. But five days after I got hit we had a team chaplain and that's why I love that you're Chaplin of a junior team because I was so impacted by my my chap and his name is Mike Vander Quack and, and he gave a talk. He would chat chat with US every couple weeks to the group and he gave a talk and I just remember him saying, you know, you don't need to know what's going on in your life right now. God is working in your life, he has a plan, he is with you, but it might not make sense and you might not even see it, but two years from now you'll look back and you'll be able to see exactly what God is doing. And I remember him saying that and it just sunk in, like it just hit me and I was like, I don't know, because I had pain. I didn't know the hockey was going to be over, but I had pain and I had headaches and I wanted to be on the ice, and so I was going, what's going on? And that kind of just sustained me through the year of sitting in the stands watching the guys practice and I couldn't be out there. They shoot pucks off the glass and the noise of it was too much for me to handle. I had to go to the top of the stands because I couldn't be close, and I remember just sitting in the stands going now and God, you're with me, God you've got...

...peace for me. This piece doesn't make sense. And so it was about a year after the injury that I finally realized that I was never going to play again. But through the course of that year I had started picking up the Bible, not because I felt guilty to read the Bible, because I hadn't read it for a few months and thought that I should. But I read the Bible because I went there's good life giving stuff in here. This is the God who's given me peace. That doesn't really make sense when everybody's feeling sorry for me. That must suck. That must be so hard for you to not play hockey, and it was. But God lessened the pain because I just knew his peace. And so he started in the midst of my rock bottom, stitting on the couch for a year not being able to play. He met me there and he started just teaching me what it was to put my life in his hands and experience a piece that I had never known. And so he's so faithful and I just always say now, like if I had to give up hockey and playing in the NHL and all of that fame and recognition to know Jesus, I mean it's a no brainer. The life with Jesus that I have is just so much better than then all these guys that I know in the NHL. I don't envy them because I have Jesus and he's the best. Yeah, and that's a that's a powerful statement for especially for the young kids coming up playing juniors, you know, playing peewees, for that manner that they have that vision to realize and to recognize. Would you say that as you're playing through junior's? Obviously you're you didn't have a great relationship, but did did the religion part of it and the rules help keep you out of some some sticky situations that may have been a tragedy? Yeah, yeah, and I'm so faithful, or so faithful I'm so thankful for that that. You know, the Lord has shown me different pictures and envisions of stuff, of of my life in those years and he's just said like he showed me like I was with you in those times and you didn't recognize it, but I was with you and I know that he was keeping me safe. And so the convictions that I always had about saving sex till marriage, not party and not swearing, these different things. They were convictions, but the Lord really did use that to keep me safe. I remember our rookie party was was a chance for all the events to get the the the rookies drunk and have rookies do things. But they knew that Kleiner didn't drink, and so the vets had gotten instructions from the coaches that if rookies didn't want to do it, they didn't have to do it. And so I remember just sitting there at parties, watching People party, but knowing that I could still have fun, I could still have conversations with my teammates, but I didn't have to engage in that behavior. I'm really so thankful for those convictions. Even though it wasn't necessary the early based in relationship, the convictions definitely kept me safe. It's good so to the relationship wasn't there, with the conviction of it all was there. So he's still with you through that. So the big hit happens, so you're sitting in the stands, you can't even hardly listen. You mean, when did you realize that you weren't going to get to go on? Like how long did that process take? Yeah, so I got hurt in October and when I came home in the summer. What year was this, by the way? This was two thousand and six, two thousand and six, October fourteen. I got her and and I would always just say to stated guys, you know, I feel like I'm a week away. I feel like I'm a week away, and a week would go on and I'd say I feel like I'm a week away because I never I didn't have like a brain bleed, I didn't have this huge injury where I had to go to the hospital. They were just it was just constant headaches, just consistent headaches, and I felt like eventually it was going to go away. But I guess it was nine months after the injury I was seeing a guy here in Edmonton, where I live, there was a natural path and I saw about eighteen or nineteen...

...different doctors over the course of a couple of years, and so he was just one of them. But he said to me, he's like, you know, we're going to work on you, we're going to get you healthy, you're going to be able to start training about the end of August. And I just knew that when he said that, that the end of August was going to be too late. I've gotten so out of shape not being able to move for a year or Hawk the camp, the training camp, was going to be open by then, going to be going on. They were going to find other guys to replace me. And so I remember driving home, it was about nine months after the injury, and I cried. And then I feel emotional thinking about it, because I cried thinking like thirteen years of my life has been dedicated to playing hockey and it's all I ever thought about and and now I know that I'm never going to play again. And and I went to training camp that year still holding onto a hope that I was going to be able to play. And I'm going to interrupt for one second. Yeah, I love the fact that you're showing emotion right now. If this is this is such a God thing, is it? Next week episode is actually going to be about men and feelings. I'm going to spend something different off right now. So being able to show emotion in in this podcast like this was something that impacted your life deeply and I think it truly shows how human and how Christ like you are that you're able to show this emotion with this man. I love it. Yeah, it's good. Yeah, well, thank you. It's true. I mean my say, my sister in law said two or two year old a few months ago, real men don't cry and I said no, real men cry, Buddy, you can cry, you can have emotion. God, God, has the most extreme emotion that we could imagine and we're made in his image. It's so healthy to cry and and it's funny for me that that I am, but it shows that it was really an intense time in my life and when you've dedicated your life to something and it gets stripped away from you, you can't just suppress that. You've got to feel what you're feeling. You've got to be aware and be able to share and be able to talk with people about what you're feeling, because I know I'm not the only athlete who's gotten a career ended and taken from them because of injury or because of some circumstance. Maybe they're just maybe we just haven't made it, maybe we're not good enough, and we play our last game and realize, like Matt, I'm not good enough and I can't make it, and that dream that we've pursued for so long. We've got to be able to identify what that's doing in our heart, like how it's affecting us, because if we don't, we just kind of live hard, like our heart gets hard when we're not living from a soft heart. And so a couple of years ago there was a documentary that was done on my life and and they were trying to push me for emotion and I would I wasn't really going there and I was kind of resistant and they were saying no, I want we want a motion, like we want to tell a good story, you got to have a motion in the story. And and so they kept prodding and pushing and prodding and pushing and I was resistant and finally they broke me and I'm probably going to show motion again, but they were asking me about that. Last time that I was ever at my in chilliwack with my team and and I lived with a roommate who I really loved. We were best buddies and we'd have the team over and and we had great times together. And so that next year after I got hurt, I went back to training camp and training camp ended and I just was still struggling with the pain. And so I knew that that I was never going to come back. And and I remember so clearly the moment in my billets driveway where they were standing there and and I hugged my...

...roommate goodbye and I knew that that was going to be it. And and I was going home to who knows what. But what I did know was that I was going home to parents who who had given up everything, like they sent me away when I was fourteen to a boarding school, not because I was bad, but because it was it was, it was a hockey haven. And they sacrifice so much. And I was going home to parents who wanted to see their son succeed, who would sacrifice so much. And I felt not from them but from me. I felt that I was disappointing them. And and so these guys are pushing me in this documentary, and this was fourteen years after the injury and and all of a sudden I had this emotion like burst forth for the first time and I realized that some of these disappointments I had never recognized before. I had never verbalized them, I had never gotten them out and so they had just been in me. But it's so easy to say, yeah, I got hurt and I never played hockey again, whatever your circumstances, I had this dream and I didn't get to to fulfill it. But what did that do to you? Like, what's the heart? What did that do in your heart? How did that make you feel? Are you willing to show emotion? Are you willing to get vulnerable? It's obviously something that I'm still growing in, but I that it was such a powerful thing for me when these guys are pushing me for emotion, because I was realizing, like, there's been stuff that I've carried that I haven't communicated, even if I've thought it, I haven't gotten it out, and it's so, so important to do that. So thank you for interrupting me. Yeah, and highlighting the importance of emotion, because it really is important, especially when there's been vast disappointment in our life. Absolutely so. Now interruption took us down that road. Keep going on that, though. So you did mean you you have that moment at the billet house. You know, that's kind of that's kind of it. That's when it's sun sunk in. What happens next? To Go home? Where you go from there? Yeah, I went home and when I was younger, my dad and I went to a to a store, a hockey shop, to get some hockey equipment and he talked to the the owner and I said you know him, and he said he's the business owner. And so just a little seed in my life. I went if I don't play hockey, I want to be a business owner. And so I went home, still trying to figure out my headaches and dealing with medical people and doctors and chiropractors and so many different things going on, but I just turned my attention kind of to what kind of business can I run? And and I had lots of different ideas and my mom's kind of entrepreneurial and her thinking and so we, you know, we try to establish the ideas of what we could do. But at the same time, when I didn't have purpose, when I was just kind of throwing out ideas and not knowing where I was going to go, I got established in a church for the first time, like when I was a kid, my dad was a pastor. I was established in that church, but I left home when I was fourteen to pursue hockey. So now I'm nineteen and I never have had friends and a community around me where people my age love Jesus and the confidence that that these people had and who they were was so different than I had ever experienced see in hockey. I always thought that I was a humble guy because I wasn't as cock key, just to put a bluntly, as my teammates were. But when I came out of that environment and I was around actually like real humble people, I realize I'm like, man, this this arrogance of man. People are probably...

...blessed when they're in a room with me. I've been signing autographs since I was fourteen. This arrogance, it was, it was in me, and so it started to break me down a little bit. And being around these beautiful, Jesus Loving, humble people that weren't trying to put on a face and be cool for people and, you know, get attention because they had the best chirps and they know how to make fun of people. It was like these people who could just be genuine. It started just changing my life and so I didn't necessarily know where I was going to go I had these business ideas, but the Lord just brought these people into my life that really showed me a new way of living that I had never known, and so I started then growing in my relationship with Jesus and really just learning about who I was, because my identity had always been I'm a hockey player, but you our identity has to be in the one who made us. The creator of any product is the one who knows the function of that product best, the creator of the world. God made me, and so he's showing me now, Hey, this is how I've made you to live, not having a face, not trying to look good and sign autographs and get your value from that. I want you to understand that when I break you, I can then show you who I am, who I am in you and who I've made you to be. And so it was a beautiful process that I went through in my early s of really just learning relationship with Jesus, the thoughts that he had over me and where I get my value from, which is ultimately in him. That's awesome. So you so your home now, you're divond deep in a church. You're building relationship with Jesus as well as relationship with like minded believers. So iron sharpening iron. Yeah, I know. What. What about the medical side of the how are the headaches doing? Is Things getting better? They finding what the root of it is? Yeah, so I was eighteen when I got hurt and I had headaches until I was twenty four. And when ended up happening was was I went to a certain kind of chiropractor. It was called an it's called a Nuka and UCCA chiropractor. They just do things a little bit differently, and then they paired me up with a dentist and the dentist gave me a mouth jaw that worked on my spine and so the I what I think is that the concussion, as far as the brain damage, if you want to say it, not quite brain damage, but the impact on the brain, I think that that probably subsided early on. But my spine was crooked at the top. It had bent and so my jaw was out of line and this mouth guard that the chiropractor and the dentist teamed up on it actually realigned my jaw and so when the chiropractor would work on my spine, that the mouth guard would keep it straight so it wouldn't go back to a bench shape and so that I ended up taking the headaches away when I was twenty four and and it was such a relief, man. I mean now I get headache sometimes and I think how did I do this for six years? But it really did limit me and crippled me in terms of what I could do and just even my my mental health, like I couldn't you can't be as happy as you want to be when you've got headaches, and so it was a really big relief, obviously, when that went away. So back to the to the injury was that, like your first concussion, I had a concussion, and this is actually a good point that you're leading me into. I had a concussion two years before this, but it was in preseason and this was when I was sixteen. When you're sixteen in the Witchel it's the first year that you can play all year and being a first round pick, like, if your first round pick, you should make it when you're sixteen years old. Well, I was not having a good camp, I was not having a...

...good training camp preseason, I was not playing well and so I got hurt. I got a concussion in preseason and so at that time there was so few, there was so little understanding around concussions. They thought like, you know, concussions, you're out a week, if it's bad, maybe two. And so I was out now two and a half weeks and I'd still I was still having headaches, and I remember the guys kind of bugging me and chirping me like hey, what's going on, like what, like two and a half weeks? Why are you wantn't you out on the ice yet? And so I felt this pressure being like, Oh, I'm sixteen, first round pick, I better get out there. I'm out longer than you know a standard protocol for concussions. And so I didn't tell anybody, but I played that entire year with headaches. Every game I had headaches and I think that that probably made me more susceptible later on when I got hit again a couple of years later. But just that pressure that I felt, it's so real. Acteps feel that pressure. But you got to be true to yourself. You got to be real and be fair to yourself because if we make decisions like that in sport for a year for a game like it's going to impact the rest of your life. Potentially, we make a decision like that in life. You know how often in life, not even with a professional sport, but the peer pressure of drinking because everybody else is drinking, or you know, any of those things. You know, I mean as you get into your older life, whether it's drinking or drugs or gambling, you know, maybe a person spending on the game and whatever it might be. Like that's a life thing, right, like being trude to yourself. Of Back to the conviction that you spoke of right the yeah, you know, listening to what the holy spirits telling you. What? What are they saying? What's your that old gut instinct, right, they said that the gut instinct is usually the right the right place. Well, often I think that in my opinion, that good instinct is aske. Really the Holy Spirit saying it's right, listen to me, I'm steering you in the right direction. So, sixty you didn't really listen to it. I just curious because I have a friend who's played for the avalanche, Scott Parker. Yeah, and obviously parks has some major Cte issues and yeah, later major head injuries and stuff, and what a great, great guy. Just curious because you hear his story and you know, he had several of them. That was before they were really tracking it. Well, Bes, I was curious, you know, it's now I watch the boys on the Bulls team right like, and I mean concussion protocols pretty intense nowadays. Yeah, at times. I mean, if I'm honest, at times I look at it and go ourly over the top, like how many times that I can knocked out as a kid? Nobody said anything, like they just ye know, I think it's over at the top. You look in the HL and it's like, man, you get like a little bump in the head and you're out out of the game. Like it's over the top for sure, but it's probably better that way. I don't know. Yeah, better, better than worst. I just curious. So, so six years it took you to kind of overcome that headache stuff and a chiropractor. I come from a family of chiropractors. My uncle and my grandfather were both chiropractor. So it's like it's cool to hear that they they helped, because I do believe that a balanced body is a healthy body and that's absolutely and that's cool. So so now, twenty four years old, you finally get over the headaches. And where do we go next? Yeah, so I had run a couple Labor companies, painting and window washing, and and my dream was always to be in real estate. So I was networking lots and I bought my first place when I was twenty one as an investment and and and so that was kind of the dream to be to be a business guy and we financially independent and to have assets working for me and and I mean, who wouldn't want it really, but that's where we're all of my attention was at. And so I was I was just about twenty six and and I remember just night where I...

...had been out late with friends and I was, you know, is about three am. I came home and I was going to pick my parents up early in the morning from the airport. So I just didn't go to sleep and I was up, up, just sitting on my couch in my living room. And and I always describe it like this, like I got to know jeezus on a deeper level when I was eighteen, when I was hurt, but then when I was twenty six, almost twenty six, he took me to get another level and there's always just more of the Lord that that that we can experience and that we can know. And so I hadn't had a lot of really pass powerful, intimate or even supernatural experiences in my life and I'd heard stories, but but I was almost twenty six and I was sitting on this coach and was four in the mornings. Maybe some people think I was hallucinating, but but I for about five years to this point, I always have thought, you know, I have had to struggle with pornography. I want to I want to start something when I'm a big business guy, financially independent, not working. I want to start something like a a but for porn in the church. That was what I would always think. And so I'm sitting on this this on my couch, and literally, I don't know how to describe it other than to say the presence of God came into my room and over my right shoulder. I don't know if it was an angel or Jesus himself. It was invisible, but I knew a presence was there and the Lord just said to me, hey, you know what you want to start when you're older? I want you to start that now. And I said now, and he said Yeah, start that now, and I said, but that means given up all my dreams, my business dreams, my mentors, my relationships, and the Lord just said yes now, and so I just started on this journey of how can I start a ministry and and learning about pornography, learning about helping people, and so it was another life change. But the first thing that the Lord did was brought me into deeper relationship with him, where I started learning his voice and getting a passion for the Bible and learning scripture and and and before and there was ever fruit from my life. He brought me into intimacy with him in a new way which is very biblical and I didn't know it at the time, but it's very real. Yeah, so, so I twenty six years old at this point. Right, yeah, big aspirations, big going to be a big bad businessman, and God says, but wait, so awf but I love it because, Oh man, I'm so bad at quoting verse, but you know, we make our plans, but God establishes our steps. Right, that's right. I can't read what verse it is, been some somebody's listening knows exactly what ver said is right now. But God changes directions and now we're leading into this so tell us more about restored, restored community. restored. Yeah, restored community, restored underscore. Community is the if the INSTAGRAM. Restored ministries is the organization and man it it. The Lord has been so graceful. I remember that first year in a bit just learning God's voice. Had such a passion for him. I just wanted to go home and be in my prayer closet. I just wanted to go home and read the Bible and I just spend so, so long with him. Guy, got mentors to teach me like how do you how do you, you know, Know Jesus? How do you get to know him? How do you worship him? And and that is everything. But at the same time I felt this guilt inside of me like like I'm not impacting people, Jesus like you've told me to, you know, free the captors, like get people out of addiction. Like I'm not really seeing that fruit in my life. And so it was over a year after I had first got this this...

...call and and I remember I was speaking at this this men's breakfast, but it was on Valentine's Day, so they brought their wives and I was single. So it was just a funny dinut dynamic for me. But I was speaking about that fruit comes from intimacy, and so fruit in marriage or intimacy, and marriage will lead to fruit, but also just intimacy with Jesus will lead to fruit. And so I remember as I'm speaking, I'm probably about halfway through, and I just sense the Lord say to me, Matt do you see what I've done through you? I've been bringing you into intimacy with me. So the fruit will come. You can just chill like relieve yourself of this guilt. And so that was such a cool, crucial moment for me in my journey where the Lord just brings this piece and again. But a couple years later I had been working under a guy through in ministry, just kind of learning the ropes. How do you do ministry? How do you fundraise, how do you you know, how do you how do you leave things? And so a couple of years of working under a guy, I just felt was the Lord was leading me to the right time to start restore ministries. And so we started all fline, doing workshops, doing conferences locally in western Canada, here, meeting with people one on one, leading some groups in my house or in different guys houses. That's where I started and I'm a few months before covid hit the world. The Lord had been putting it on my heart. It was in November two thousand and nineteen where I started kind of feeling drawn to developing an online program that was really interactive and had a lot of support for people, and so I started building that in February two thousand and twenty, which was a month before everything lot got locked down with Covid, and so I look back I'm like the Lord's timing was in that. He's so cool how he does things, and so I've been building this online program and in in June of two thousand and twenty we went online and now we're we're eighty percent online. We still be offline. We you know, things programs in churches, but but a lot of what we do is online. And so there's so much help for men in addiction to any sexual vice, not just porn help for women. There's help for wives of addicted husband's. We just trying to restore the church back to sexual health. Restored Ministry is trying to restore the church back to sexual health and and lead people in in it. Really it's a discipleship process where if somebody's stuck in addiction, if somebody's stuck in sin, I like to say it's evidence that we don't fully know who we are in Christ, we don't fully know our God given an identity, we don't fully know the love of God if we're if we're living in sin, and so we want to restore people back to living in their full God given identity, which in first beat off one. It says that if you arm yourself with the attitude of Christ, that sin will just cease in your life. And so we don't have to spend so much time like trying to not sin, trying to not do this, trying to, you know, get this habit out of my life. Let's learn who we are in God, let's arm ourselves with the attitude of Christ, let's learn the love of the father and how to bring that into the dark times, how to bring that into temptation, how to bring that into when you're feeling this urge to act out or to escape something in your life? How can you bring the attitude to Christ and the love of God into that moment? And when people do that it's so amazing to see like like thirty year. Addictions vanish in a month and and these guys, a lot of them, have been a year, year and a half free of their addiction and it didn't even have to take long for them when they change their approach from trying to get free of sin to now, all of a sudden, training themselves and how to think like God and how to experience a love of the father in those times. And so it's transformational and it's so, so much fun just to be a part of the journey for people.

That's awesome. So I know, like when you were talking about your story earlier and you're talking about in juniors, and we know you didn't, didn't drinking and smoke, but you had mentioned pornography. Was it the thing for you back then? That was maybe your vice, or whatever we want to call it. When did you realize that it was a problem in your life? When? When the when did the problement happened? Yeah, my friend showed it to me when I was eleven and I remember being super intrigued but super appalled at the same time. But I guess the intrigue was stronger than then. How then, how appalled I was, and so I went home and I started searching it. I was eleven and immediately I knew it was wrong. Immediately I wanted out, but I was just so intrigued and curious and just wanted it. And so it's very common for people where there's that that curiosity and there's the excitement and there's the dopamine relay release and in the brain that makes you feel good and makes you want to go back to it when you don't feel good because the release feels so good. And so there's there's that part of it. But then there're it's very common for people to experience what I felt, that there's this this guilt and my God, I don't want to do this. I never wanted to want it, to be addicted to porn but I remember always thinking I'm for sure going to be done by the time I'm married and and I remember I was twenty one and I was watching pornography and I had this thought like if I'm wanting to be done by the time I'm married, there's got to be a last time, and so I just close the computer and I I thought this is it. I'm not going to date a girl until I'm porn free for a year. And so it was. Almost two and a half years went and I never, I never watch porn. I was hardly ever got tempted, to be honest. It wasn't even a part of my life. And in that time frame this was where I had grown in the Lord a little bit, but not to the degree that I did when I was twenty six, and so I had not yet known how to give God credit for things or welcome him into the heart things in my life, and so I just thought, I'm pouring free now, like I made a good decision. I'm going to be free for a year before a day a girl. I made a good decision. I took more of the glory and the credit. And so when I was twenty three, twenty four, I fell back into it and I fell worse than ever. Like it was. It was constant at this point. It was every day, twice a day, for another two and a half years, and I would pray in this time like, like God, I had this thing that was strong enough for me to quit, like I didn't want it to be in my mind's eye when I was dating a girl. Why is that not strong enough? Like give me something that's so strong that that's like an anchor for me to quit. And and at the same time I'd be praying, like God, I want to be used by you, I want to impact people all around the world and and and I just felt like I couldn't because of this addiction. And I was in a church service one time and and I was in worship, but I was sitting down in this worship set and I just felt like the Lord whispered to me and he said, Matt, I want to use you, but you've got to get pure. Those were the words that I heard and I thought that when God said get pure so that I can use you, I thought that what he was saying was, if you've got sin in your life, I could never use you. We're all broken vessels, though he can work through anybody. But what he was actually saying to me was I need you to get pure in your heart, in your mind. I need you to pursue intimacy with me, which will lead to purity, because through intimacy with me you'll get you'll get pure, but I'll also be able to use you and work through you. And so these two prayers that he that I was praying, I got...

...give me something that's strong enough to quit and I want to be used by you. Got He answered that in one go and and really just trying to change my life. And so I got free of porn and it was shortly after that that that he called me into into doing the ministry. Yeah, man, that's profound. So it's a it was a struggle for quite some time and even after being a Christian, becoming Christian. I think that's a that's important for our listeners to understand. Like you said, we'd we're all broken people, were all sinners and that was for me, coming to know Jesus and accepting him into my heart was when my pastor told me that. You know, I had this view. You know, I guess maybe it's the Catholic view from my parents of the the the priest up on the you know, at the pulpit and his robe was better than me. Great, and I kind of carried that with me for a long time and it's important for the listeners to understand that we're all sinners, we all fall short, and that that pornography is is real and is a sin and is is easily be addicted to. That that release a dopamine from your brain is just like what you get from that drug or those other things. It's it's natural. So obviously you're the expert in this field. I would love to hear the biblical side of pornography, of all of all that's wrong with it, of what what the Bible says and it is that. Does that question makes sense? Sure? Yeah, yeah, I mean Jesus, in Matthew Five, when he's talking about adult tree, he talks about he actually uses the word Greek or the Greek word pornea. And so you know, if you look with last full intent to win a woman, you're committing cornea. And so PORNEA is is all forms of sexual immorality. There's porn there's there's sad to see, there's adult tree, there's a there's masturbation, there's all these different forms of sexual immorality. And so God wants us to be free of all of that. And so you know, one thing that the Lord is just to be transparent. One thing that the Lord has been saying to me lately is do you like, do you believe that I can lead you into a life that's totally free of fantasy, like free of sexual fantasy, like you can be free of porn free of masturbation. But like if these sexual fantasies come sometimes that are unhealthy, like there's fantasies that are good within marriage, but but if it's unhealthy, there's a lustful intent like can you be free of that? And so even in my own life he's kind of, you know, raising the bar on that right now. But but God wants us to be free and it's not because he he thinks that we're that we're bad when we're in this stuff. It's because he knows the plan for us. But more than that, he loves US and he wants us to be in peace. He wants us to experience the fullness of his joy, and so when we're stuck in bondage, he knows that we don't experience peace, we don't have the fullness of his joy, we're not living in love, and so he's like desperately trying to free, free, free us from the bondage because he loves us, not because he thinks that we're bad. He knows that we're broken. He made us, he made us to be incomplete so that he could fill us, and so he knows that we're in completely, as were, broken. Without your question, what does he say about this stuff biblically? You what does he say? Well, pornography is kind of self explanatory. Most people know that that's in correct. But you could just you could just go to what math, to what he says in Matthew that if you look upon a woman with lust full and ten, you're already committed adultery. So you're already instant. But what about masturbation? Like a lot of people aren't sure. Like masturbation isn't mentioned in the Bible. Some people think it is. I don't really think that it is. But but what...

...does God say about that? Like, he doesn't say anything. Is it therefore okay? You know, I think it, but he doesn't say anything. It might not be okay. We should know. But this is one thing that that the Lord said to me one time. I was walking around a missions fast, a conference, and I just have this thought come in. He said, Matt when I when I made mankind, I said let us make man in our image, and so I felt like the Lord said there's nothing that I do that's outside of intimacy with those that I'm one with, and I went that is so profound that what he was making mankind he didn't just say to the son and to the spirit like hey, you guys, stay over there, don't even look, I'm just going to make mad in my image. He said, let us make man in our image. What he did was he was setting the stage that my character is such that what I do I do with those I'm in intimate relationship with, and then he makes us and he says, you know, be attached to me, like be one with me, there's fruit that comes. You can do nothing apart from me, but with me you can do anything. Masturbation falls outside of God's design because every single time that sex is mentioned in the Bible, any sexual activity in a positive light, it's between a man and a woman in context of marriage, doing it together. So why does God not mention masturbation in the Bible? Because he doesn't have to. If we know God's design for sex, what it is, we also then know what it isn't. And so if we know God's character, that everything he does he does with those he's in intimate relationship with, those he's in he's one with, it's the same sexually. Any sexual activity has to be a man and a woman if it's going to honor God. In the context of marriage and masturbation falls outside of that. And so this isn't a message to shame people. It's something that a lot of people, most people, struggle with is masturbation. But what I say to people is it's an opportunity to get to know God on an even deeper level, like if we're up at two in the morning and we're tempted, or eleven at night, or it's it's in the morning maybe. You know, one guy said to me recently it's kind of like brushing my teeth. I just every morning, I brush my teeth, every morning, I go in the shower and I'm masturbate. Well, this is an opportunity in those moments to know God in a deeper level. And so God wants to expose was like, what's actually the desire in your heart, like are you looking for for for recognition, and you're not getting it and so you have to escape into this activity? Is it just a habit where your brain isn't wired in the way that I want it wired? Well, let me come and help you rewire your brain. And so there's no shame in this stuff. But God standard is fairly high and I think that he wants us to meet it. So I hope that that answers your question a little bit. No, I should hit right on the head. I was just curious, like what the what the take is on that. That is a huge question that comes up, you know, because it's not in the Bible. Is it right? Is it wrong? And I think that that's a heck of a revelation. I hope many people take that home. I know that. You know, you think about you've been with your wife and the God's design for sex. I had this. I serve one little piece and I'll ask you the couple questions and we'll close off today. We're we're going. Man, this has been a great, great episode. I love it. But one of the things that really hit me on the head the other day that I felt like God spoke to me and it was we were thinking about premarible sex and all these different things and you know, obviously I was a sinner, you know, when we had children at a wedlock everything else. I've only been saved for four or five years now, right, so I'm pretty fresh to all this stuff. But one of the things...

...that that really hit me on the head, and I hope the listeners can take this home. But premarital sex and pornography and all of those things are are the foothold that the enemy needs in your life. And when you have premarital sex and because you've watched pornography, what you've now effectively done is you've opened up for the guilt and the shame and the doubt within your head, and those are all things that aren't from God. So now you know, if I can be bold in this. Now you're saying I didn't last long enough, I wasn't good enough, I'm not big enough, I'm not this, I'm not that. How could I be better at this? All because of pornography and the fact that you did it outside of God's blessing. Now, if you save yourself for marriage, is as hard as that seems in this day and age. You know, my wife and I actually took a we we prayed for God to restore our virginity, we prayed that he would renew us and cleanse us, and then we took a vow of celibacy for six months before our wedding, and I'll tell you that it was it worked. It was incredible because us being able to celebrate with each other on that night and conceive. You know, to be able to do that on our wedding night was blessed by God. It was une with God. It was I've heard people describe it as a bloodletting, right like in the Old Testament, like that. That's actually if that covenant goes to and that's a whole nother road, but that premarital sex and pornography open up the door for guilt and shame and doubt and all of those things. So keep that in mind. It's as been awesome. One thing, there's one thing that you want the listeners to take home today. What is that one one thing that you just want them to know? I mean, first, what you just shared is is. That's huge. I'm going to I'm going to start sharing that more too. It's it's the guilt and the shame that that opens up. Yeah, make sure it makes you it's the start of not thinking you're good enough in a situation and in a situation that God created that is supposed to be beautiful and amazing and intimate. It's it's supposed to be good, it's supposed to be a wonderful thing, just like all of God's creation is. But because of not doing doing it outside of his blessing. Now you know you've given the enemy foothold to make it bad. Well, that's so good. It's so true. I mean, we're we're made. We're made to honor God, we're made. We're made to bring him glory and when we do that we have the most peace and the most joy imaginable. And it's so true. What you said so cool. If there's one thing that I can that I can share, maybe I'll share too. I was just having a meeting with the guy earlier this morning and he said what could you what would you say to your nineteen year nineteen year old self, and I said I would say getting the prayer closet more. I would say get to know God and prayer, prioritize that and spend time with them. But really, what I'm what I'm leaning towards, and the answer to your question is this has been a big message in my life this year since since a about me is in Effesians five, it says to walk in the light you expose the works of darkness, and it says it when we expose the works of darkness that God illuminates that. And he and what was dark. Now it's light, but he illuminates. Now it's light and then just then it says in scripture, shine your light before men. What was darkness? Expose that, get that out. If you feel shame about something in your life, go find somebody to talk to. If you feel stuck in an area in your...

...life, maybe it's an addiction, maybe it's pornography, maybe it's a sin, maybe it's something totally different. If there's a desire that you have that's like it's keeping you stuck, it's not a good desire. Get that out. Talk to somebody. What is keeping you bound needs to be exposed, because God wants to set you free, and doing that will set you free, especially as you talk about it, the more and more you talk about it. Start with one person, but then try to find a second, try to find a third, and if you have nobody praying, God will send people to you. But it's also a story that God can use to impact people. And so we just always think, man, I want to impact people, I want to feel significant, I want to do significant things in my life. Sometimes the most significant thing you'll do in your life is exposing darkness and then sharing future and that with people because you're sharing the grace of God on your life and they're going to be impacted by that. And so that's a big thing for us in our ministry is is getting that stuff out, and so that would be maybe my last last thing to mention here is if there's something keeping you stuck, just talk and I don't mean to give a plug, but maybe I will give a plug. One really cool thing that we do in our ministry is it's called a cleansing an hour and we just sit on the other side of the computer with somebody and we just say, Kate, you can be open like like things that they've never shared with anybody. They come into a cleansing hour, probably because they know that they'll never see me or whoever it is again, but but they feel confident and safe to get things off of their chest and we give them a little bit of coaching and guidance and how to do that. So that's a really powerful thing. But if you don't do a cleansing hour, that's totally fine. You can just find somebody in your life to be open with. Yeah, so I often say that you know what, if you have in the darkness whatever you're shameful of whatever is there. Jesus already knows. Let it go. He already the only person that really matters, already knows that that's there. If you think about who, what our true identity is and who we are, you know the only person we have to impress, and even and even then impresses the wrong word, we don't have to impress him. He loves US more than we could ever imagine. The only person we have to live for is for God and and put put him first in our life. And he already knows everything that's inside of us, every dark little secret, everything that we're hiding, he already knows. So you may as well let it go. It's good stuff. So with that, now it's the time for the plug. For sure. Tell people. How can they get ahold of you? How can they find out what you're doing? Yeah, restored ministries dot se a is the website, Canadian websites or stored ministries dot se a. But there's people obviously from all over the world. So there's there's different programs on there that get help. Tab You can see. Pure freedom journey is the main one where there's groups support and there's video training. There's also one on one coaching available, though. There's cleansing hours. There's a boot camp that church groups do. We're not involved when people go through the boot camp, but it's eight eight videos, and men's groups can do in their church, women's groups can do it together in their church and it's basically just same thing, like helping people get out of out of sexual sin. Restored undersport community on Instagram and there's a pure victory podcast that we run too. I think. I think now there's eighty six episodes on there. So there's a ton of stuff, ton ton of resources that are free on the podcast and feel free to send a DM. Honestly, some people like, man, you're too busy. I love hearing from people on Instagram when they send a message. I love just hearing the story and if you need to get something off your chest, send a DM. All that Swir and I'll I'll talk to you on there. So thanks, Nick for having me. This has been fun. I've loved it. Yeah, absolutely, Man, thank you so much for being here. For all the listeners, check out matt and what restored community online or restored ministries, store ministries online,...

...restore community on instagram. Yeah, fast life, ministriescom. You know, support this episode, share it with people who might need to hear it. Like its, subscribed to it. All those fun things follow us. We appreciate all the listeners. God bless you, Matt. Thank you for being here and for all the listeners. Have a blessed day. You can't wait to see you next week. Thank you for listening to faith in the fast life, brought to you by fast life ministries. If you enjoyed the podcast, please take a minute to wait, like and follow our podcast page so you can be the first to see new episodes every Wednesday. If there's someone who came to mind during the PODCAST, please send this to them. People like you sharing the show really helps us to get God's message out to a wider audience. Visit Fast Life Ministriescom to give to our podcast and keep us running. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great day.

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