Join me in a thought-provoking interview with authors Rick & Jane McKinney who walked 2,770 miles across this country on a mission to witness to others, minister to lost souls, and reclaim America for God. Then 17 years later they wrote a book!

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Episode 042 - And So... We Walked with Rick McKinney

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Jason: Thank you for joining me on another episode of the My Ministry Mission Podcast. My name is Jason and I'm your host. God loves doing good works in us and through us, but sometimes he asks us to take on roles and responsibilities that seem impossible. Imagine sitting alone. And hearing God speak to you, asking you to set out on a walk that spanned the country of the United States of America.

Imagine our Lord challenged you to place the soles of your feet, one after another, on the West Coast until you landed at the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D. C. What would you do? Would you shrug it off as a hallucination? Chalk it up to lack of sleep? Would you tell God that you're not up for it? That you're not interested?

Would you ignore the voice speaking this near impossible task into your heart? Or would you set out and trust God to find a way? In this episode, we'll talk with a couple of guests who did just that. Rick McKinney and his wife, Jane, walked 2, 770 miles across this country on a mission to witness to others, minister to lost souls, and reclaim America for God.

Then, 17 years later, they wrote a book called "And So We Walked", followed by a children's story called "They Walked Where!?" And now they have another book called "Until the World Knows: A Guide to Sharing Jesus for the Introvert, Extrovert, and Jesus Freak", which released on November 13th. There are links to get these books on Amazon in the show notes.

They are affiliate links, so using those links will also help support this show. But regardless of how or where you get the books, I strongly recommend you buy them. Now let's introduce these amazing guests.

All right, Rick, thank you so much for taking time with me today. Well Rick and Jane. I wasn't expecting Jane. So I'm very, very pleased to have her on, on the call with us. So thank you for, for being here guys.

RIck: Good to be here. Yeah, we're going to enjoy it.

Jason: Yeah, me too. I, so I read your book well, I listened to the audio book and I have to say, once I started, I could barely put it down long enough to do things like, you know, go to work and sleep. It was, it was really inspirational.

RIck: Good, I'm glad I'm glad it spoke to you.

Jane: That's Awesome.

Jason: It did big time. And I even noticed like, while I was driving, I was, listening to the book, I was a lot more tolerant of other drivers. I was a lot more peaceful and I don't know if that's something that anybody else has shared with you, but it really is kind of this calming, you know, story, the whole time you're just like really immersed into the God part of it.

RIck: Yes, we were.

Jane: That's Awesome.

Jason: So I did notice something interesting. It's a very, very good book, but it's not, it's not overly flashy. It doesn't have like elaborate words or exaggerated imagery. It's not Tokenized, if you will. It's just a really good, wholesome book. And it's almost like it has the perfect amount of content, like any more, any less, and it would not be the same , it kind of feels like God guided your hands to near perfection or perfection when you guys decided to put pen to paper.

Jane: That's awesome.

RIck: Yeah, we, you know, this has been a long process, Jason. The walk actually occurred in 2006, so it was 17 years until we published the book and we started right after the walk Jane actually journaled. Wrote down the name of every person we talked to, what the conversation was about, that sort of thing.

And I started kind of fashioning that into a story right after the walk. But I put it away for a while and I'd get it out and work on it. Put it away for a while and get it back. And I think well, I'm, I'm sure that it was all God's timing because we had to process, it took a long time for us to process what had actually happened.

And we both talked about that, why there was such a long delay, but I think in the delay, at least one of the reasons was because we had to get the balance right and we wanted it to be about God. And not about us. And I think it, if they had published it right after the walk, we would have had a tendency to maybe make it more about us than about God. Just because we were still raw from the experience of actually walking.

Jane: Yeah. Yeah. I think so. It was very difficult and I think if we had written the book right away, it would have been, see what we did, even though we knew all the way through, we knew that God was helping us and, and we couldn't have done it without him.

I think we had to step back and look and get a fresh perspective on, on what God did. And, and the more we tell the story, even today, the more we relive the stories. It's amazing. It continues to amaze me what God did. And sometimes I think. Did we do that? No, God did that. It wasn't even us, even then. So I think that's why.

And then the, the technology is just out there today that was not there. You know, 17 years ago, if we'd put the book out, nobody would have heard of it. Well, there, there just wasn't very much. You know social media there certainly weren't podcasts like there are today And you can tell him what the podcasts have.

RIck: Yeah, we've done over 30 podcasts now we've been we've been all around the world. We've done three in Nigeria, three in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia twice and Canada all over the United States. And we've been broadcast now in over a hundred countries in every continent of the world that just simply would not have been possible 17 years ago.

And of course, Amazon. And all that they do to help independent writers. And it just was God's timing all the way around. And it's amazing to us that the book is still transformative. It still transforms us every time we tell the stories. But people like you who read it 17 years after it happened.

It, it still affects people's lives and we get emails all the time from people saying you know, we read the book and God just spoke to us about the way we treat people or about how we see people, or if you guys did this and I believe I can do what God called me to do. So it's, it's just very, , satisfying and fulfilling to see how God is using the story. This long after it actually happened.

Jason: Yeah, no, I'm sharing it with everyone. And I guess the first question I have for you, Rick. Is how amazing is Jane? Like throughout this whole book, she demonstrated such spiritual and physical fortitude. I mean, you both did, but I hear, you know, I read these stories and you, you know, you're doing one thing and Jane's just like jumping in and going, nope, we're going to save this person.

RIck: Well, Jane has always been the one in the forefront in lots of ways. I'm a, I'm a very. Introverted, introvert, and Jane is an extrovert. And so she's always the most vocal. She's always the one who's out in front witnessing and sharing her faith. And many times I just kind of sit back and watch her do it because she's so good at it and she's so natural at it and she has a smile and a personality that people just instantly fall in love with.

Sometimes if I get out there and try to be bold like that. People just want to punch me in the face.

Jason: Oh, well.

Jane: Okay.

RIck: So, that's part of it, but Jane, I have to say, and I think I said this in the book, that I would not have finished the walk had it not been for her determination. I gave her several outs to quit along the way because she was in such pain.

And the fact that she wouldn't and every step we took, I knew she was in pain and I'm thinking if she can walk in that kind of pain, then I can certainly keep walking too. So she is amazing. She's always been amazing. I've always told people that the best part of getting me is getting her. And we are always together.

You rarely see one of us without the other. And it's been that way for 50 years. So it's, it's a great partnership and it's a great marriage and it's a great ministry that we have together and have always had together.

Jason: That's amazing. Now, I think you've mentioned the motivation for the book originated from Joshua 1:3. It was I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses."

Now, if I understand this correctly, this isn't about land ownership. It's it's about laying claim to the blessings of God and the promises of God. And you know, I guess my question, I'm rolling into being very verbal here, but the question is, would it be fair to suggest that as you walked and had your encounters you were reclaiming more than just America?

You were reclaiming souls for the kingdom of heaven.

Jane: Yes, absolutely.

Jason: Like it's powerful to think about what you guys did.

Jane: Yeah, absolutely.

RIck: When we talk about reclaiming America, we're, we're really not talking about reclaiming the land or even reclaiming things politically, which a lot of people misunderstood about the walk along the way.

What we were really talking about is. The transformation that happens one person at a time as we took one step at a time. And for the first part of the walk, I think we thought that the walk was about the steps. But what we found out pretty quickly was that really the walk was about the stops. The steps just connected the stops.

And as we stopped to talk to people, and God opened their hearts up to hear the gospel, or opened their hearts up to, to recommit themselves to Christ, that was just a little piece of... America that we were reclaiming with God's help. And we left a trail of people like that from Los Angeles, California, all the way to Washington, D. C. And now we're leaving a trail of people like that, or God is leaving a trail of people like that all over the world.

And that's how it happens. It never happens in mass. It always happens every great revival, every great spiritual awakening always starts with a person or a couple of people. who are praying, who are intent, and God honors that by letting it spread.

But it always starts individually. So we believe that we were at least part of the catalyst that God is going to use to bring great revival. In our world before he comes back.

Jason: Absolutely. That's great to hear. And, you know, I think about, I think about the steps and, , there was a, there's a certain amount of, for lack of a better term, suffering that was built into this endeavor.

And it, and it kind of, kind of led me to, you know, I'm working on a series with a friend about the book of Revelation, which is, it's intimidating and scary, but, you know, as we're. investigating and learning and researching more, , it dawned on me that, , that we have this church in Ephesus, you know, the seven churches of seven letters.

And , Jesus condemns them, says you, "You have forsaken the love you had at first" in the last part of Revelation 2:4. And it made me consider like how important it was, , like you said, not the steps the stops, but even more important is. The, the love you had in your heart for these people that you encountered and then compassionate, you were, and I don't want to give, you know, much away from the book, but there, there's an encounter that you had with a vet that was, not what you expected, , you expected this, this wholesome Christian person and you end up being very prejudiced.

And, and, , there, there is still a sense of, sadness for that person, not, , condemnation. It's just, , I'm very, very sad that this person has as much hate in their heart. So is it, I mean, how, how much did that, how many times did you have to replay that in your mind? You know, how much you have to love people and to love God as you're walking and dealing with blisters and pain and, you know, all this stuff.

Jane: We had asked God to prepare. Divine appointments for us all the way across America, even before we left. And so we knew that God was going to bring people to us that we would need to speak to. But we had also asked God to help us to see them like Jesus does. And I'm telling you, Jason, if you don't want to do that, then don't ask him, because when you see people, I'm serious,

Jason: No, I believe it. I believe

Jane: it. Yeah. When you look at people and you think, wow, Jesus loves them, you know, and even, even today, you know, well, you know, something will happen and I'll say, but Jesus loves them, you know, and, and it's hard sometimes to think that. That that person is just as much loved by Jesus as he loves us.

And so we have to keep that in mind at all times. And so yes, it was very difficult sometimes to meet people. Who maybe didn't see the world like we did. Especially I'm reminded of the Native Americans that, that we met. And so many of them had the story of how they were virtually kidnapped as children and taken well, I won't mention the state, but they were taken to, Um, another state by a cult basically, and they were brainwashed their mouths were washed out with soap if they tried to speak their native language.

They were held for years and tortured, and it was horrible, and these children, and we heard this story many times, many adults told us this story that this had happened to them, and this happened to them in the name of Jesus. These people used the name of Jesus and then tortured them.

And so they had a horrible, horrible outlook on our God. And it was very difficult for us to try to you know, speak to them about God loves them when they had been treated like that as children and they had held that hate basically in their hearts the whole time.

RIck: Well they had, they had not only a hate for God and for Jesus and for Christianity in general because that's what they had been told. They were being indoctrinated into but they also connected that with white people. Yeah so there was there was the history that you have to deal with because the Native Americans were treated badly by our ancestors they were Taken off of their land, put in reservations. It's some of the most God forsaken part of the country.

We had already been to the Navajo nation several times before the walk. You know, it's kind of amazing. You pass the sign that says entering the Navajo nation and all of a sudden it goes from green, lush ground to desert. And that's where they were taken to this desolate part of America that nobody else wanted.

So you deal with that prejudice that comes on their part from the way they were treated and their ancestors were treated. But then you also see oh man They hate Jesus and they hate God because of the way they were treated and it was white people who did it to them, so now they've got two reasons. Yeah, so you start the conversation kind of with three strikes against you. But we also knew that God would open their hearts you probably remember the part of the story where we stopped at the entrance to the Havasupai reservation and prayed that God would forgive us for any prejudice that we had and forgive our nation for what had been done to the Native American people.

And I think because we prayed that prayer, God not only healed our hearts, but he opened the door for us to minister to so many Native Americans as we cross the country, and it was amazing! Sometimes they would just be out on the road waiting, like they were waiting for us to show up. One man named Wallace Siniella was just standing out by the road and he lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but he was just standing there kind of waiting.

We had wonderful conversation with him, sent him a Bible to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. So God did that for us. I think To teach us that when you, when you really desire to see people like Jesus sees them, he will open the door for you ministry, and for you to be able to talk to them about the truth.

Jason: Yeah. And that's so important. And it's so heartbreaking to hear those stories.

Jane: Yeah. And it's still going on today in their hearts and minds, you know, they still feel that prejudice.

RIck: And they still replay that over and over.

Jason: Yeah. Well, , hopefully , you touch the lives of enough of them that they can tell others, you know, not all Christians are bad. Not all white people are bad.

Jane: Right.

Jason: And I mean, that's where it starts. And, you know, it takes sometimes generations for that hate to go away. But, you toppled the domino. We'll see where it goes.

Jane: Yeah.

Jason: When you had sent in the guest interest form, you put Philippians 4:13 as your favorite verse maybe one of your favorites. I have many favorites. I say it all the time on this podcast. But it reads, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." I mean, how many times did that play through your mind as you were taking step after step?

Jane: That was kind of our verse for the walk

RIck: yeah, yeah. every day and Isaiah too if you you know, rest in God he'll cause you to mount up with wings of eagles and you'll walk and not grow weary. Those verses just played over and over. You know, there were, there were lots of days when it hurt so bad for Jane to put shoes and socks on that she would cry. And you say, how in the world is she going to go out there and walk 20 miles a day?

But she would take one step and then another step and another step and God would just carry her through the days. And we saw that over and over and over again with her feet like they were. And then later I had a serious injury and they told me I wouldn't be able to walk for a while. And God just overcame that too in a couple of days and enabled us to, to continue walking.

And we got to Washington DC right on time. So it was amazing. I mean, it was, it was, I can say with that reservation it was the most amazing experience of our Christian life. Once we came to know Christ that walk across America ranks number two, it was it was the greatest spiritual experience physically demanding, but emotionally satisfying, spiritually satisfying.

You know, you get to Washington DC and you kneel on the ground beside the Lincoln Memorial, or you climb this Supreme Court steps like we didn't have that final prayer. And you say, God, you did something in us that was bigger than us. And you get all the glory and all the praise for it.

Jason: Yep. Absolutely. So going to the book, like I said, I want to leave you know, a little bit of a little bit of the book so that people get interested, but in chapter three, you shared one of your first encounters with a man named Anthony. And you wrote that, "We led Anthony through the essence of what it meant to have a relationship with the heavenly father."

And it dawned on me that if somebody had asked me what my relationship or how to describe that relationship, I wouldn't really know what to say. So I was, I was hoping that, you know, you guys could explain or, or maybe share. How you explain that relationship?

Jane: Well, let me tell the story of Anthony.

We actually met Anthony on the second day of the walk. We turned the corner that morning and found ourselves in the middle of the Rose Bowl parade. We did not realize that they put the Rose Bowl parade on the 2nd of January when it falls on, when the first falls on a Sunday. So we had walked all day.

Through the rain, it was raining that day through thousands of people trying to talk to them while they were watching the parade, which was interesting and toward the end of that day we were so tired, we were wet our feet were wet, I mean, everything was wet, and we were just so tired, and this man approached us, and he said, do you have a dollar, and I said, "What do you want a dollar for?" I was so tired, I was, I was probably bordering on rude to him.

I just said, "What do you want a dollar for?" And he said, "To buy milk." And I'm like, yeah, right. But so Rick just stepped back and let me talk to him and he was kind of fiddling for a dollar the whole time. And like I said, we were just so tired and I was probably boarding on rude, but I just said, "Anthony, do you know Jesus?"

And he kind of stepped back and. He said, "No, but I think I'd like to." So that's when I began to tell him what it was like to know Jesus, to have him in your life, to have him guide you. I told him what we were doing and why we were doing it. And I can't remember how long we talked, but kind of the, the pain and tiredness just kind of melted away while we talked to him because obviously God had brought him to us.

So finally, I just said, "Would you like to ask him into your life?" And he said, "Yeah, I think I would." And so, he prayed right there on, on the streets. Right, you know, right after we had finished the parade, the Rose Bowl parade. And asked Jesus into his life. Now, the hard part about leading someone to the Lord when you're going to walk away, is you know discipling them.

How do you disciple them? You can't just... You know, you can't just have a baby and then just leave it on the street. So.

Jason: Right. That's a good analogy.

Jane: Yeah. He's, he's, he's a baby in Jesus. So we told him, we said, Anthony, you need to find a church. You know, we said, do you know some people who, who know Jesus? Do you know of a church? And I think he said he did.

RIck: Yeah, he did.

Jane: And, and we told him, I said, you need to go to them and you need to tell them what, what you've, you know, decided today. And you know, take. Take the next steps in letting Jesus guide you.

RIck: I think, I think what we, what we told Anthony and what we tried to tell people all along the way that having a relationship with Jesus, being what we call a Christ follower or a Christian involves having A personal relationship with him and so many people think that being a Christian is just believing a set of Tenets of the faith.

I believe Jesus came I believe he was born in a manger I believe that he grew up perfect And I believe he died on the cross and rose from the grave and you can believe all those things and be just as lost as a goose Because it's not a problem of mental agreement With a set of beliefs, it is about having the kind of desire in your heart to not just believe the right things, but to actually have a relationship with the person that those beliefs are about and you know, it's very easy to explain to people that I know a lot of things about famous people. I know a lot of things about some great preachers. I've read their bios. I've read their biographies. I've studied them. I've studied John Wesley and I've studied Martin Luther at length. And so I know lots of things about them, but I don't know them.

I don't have a personal relationship with them. And so there are lots of people who know a lot of stuff about jesus because they've always been raised in church and they went to sunday school and they heard lots of sermons And so if you gave them a test they could pass the test because they know all the right stuff, but they're not In relationship with him they know about him, but they don't know him matter of fact our preacher this morning was talking about What lots of people have talked about over the years is being 18 inches away from a relationship with Christ. That's the distance from your head to your heart and lots of people miss A relationship with Christ by 18 inches because they know everything.

They got the right answers. They've even participated in religious activities. They've gone to church. They've given money to the church. They've taken communion. They've been baptized many of them and they've just gone through this set of expectations and they walk away and many times 10 years, 20 years, 30 years down the road.

They realize when they meet somebody who has a real relationship with Jesus. Hey. That's not what I have. I have a lot of knowledge about him, but I don't know him. And so, that's the difference. It's the difference between knowing about him and being in relationship with him. And, I think once people begin to understand that, they become hungry to have more than a mental understanding of who he is, but to actually have a, what I call a walk and talk relationship with him.

Jane: You can know people but if you never talk to them, if you never interact with them, you know and so that's what he expects from us. He expects for, from us to talk to him, to read his word. I mean, that, you know, the Bible is, is our guidebook that he left for us. It's not just a way to get to heaven, but it is a way to live our life every day. And if you don't read that, and study that, and get encouragement from that, and then talk to him about that Then you're not really his friend.

RIck: Yeah, it's like a married couple that never communicates. If two people are married but they never talk they never share their days, they never share their activities she goes her way and he goes his way they may be legally married. But they don't have a relationship.

And I think a lot of people are legally married to Jesus. You know, they're, they signed a contract somewhere along the way to be a member of a church, but they have no relationship with him. And that's really what God wants. He's in the process right now of restoring creation to its original condition. And in its original condition, it says that God came in the evening and walked and talked with Adam and Eve. And that's what he desires. He desires a kind of relationship with us. He can show up anytime and he knows we'll be ready and eager to take a walk and to spend some time sharing with him and talking and not only talking ourselves, but listening to him.

I'm a much better talker than I am listener. So as you can tell, so It's tough for me to listen to God sometimes because I want to tell him everything, you know, that he already knows, but It's harder for me to be quiet and listen and that's that's where the real wisdom comes That's where the real relationship.

Jason: It's having the strength to be weak because God knows when we're at our wits and God knows when we're weak, but when you when you finally hit your knees and go, God, I need you right now right here , come into my place, come into my mess and, and help me organize it. And that's when I think that relationship really begins.

RIck: Right?

Jane: Exactly.

RIck: Yeah.

Jason: So that's good. I like the way you kind of framed it around, you know, you read books about these people, but you don't actually know them until you talk to them. And that's very important.

Jane: Yeah. So that that was hard when we were walking across America because we would just meet people briefly and then we had to leave them.

So just in a very short time we had to get across to them what Jesus meant to us. And, and I think just the fact that we were walking across America did that, you know, for a lot of people. They really said, well, if these people love Jesus so much that they're walking across America, then maybe, you know, so that's...

RIck: And we did keep in touch with lots of those people for several months. We back when they had 1 800 numbers that you could get. We had, we had cards printed up with the 1 800 number on it and we had a website and an email address. And so many of the people we met on the walk kept in touch with us for months after the walk.

So they would call with questions or problems. Sometimes some of the homeless people we met would call, we'd send them boxes of food. And so you try to maintain those. Those relationships as much as you can humanly, but we also really encourage every one of them to find a church, to find a body of believers, to find a home fellowship, to find some more folks who were following Jesus. And get in relationship and in community with them because that's that's what keeps someone between the guardrails and keeps them from going off the path and going off the rails.

Jane: Yeah.

Jason: Yep. Absolutely. All right. So kind of want to shift gears skipping over to chapter eight. You mentioned, I'm going to quote this, "One of the saddest commentaries on the entire walk was that the least interested and least considerate were often those who should have cared the most." And, and, you know, if I'm understanding right, you, meant that as you came across people who should have been, have a vested interest in your mission, churches, other Christians, whatever, they. Didn't they snubbed you or, you know, ignored you or rejected you outright. , my first question is, did that have kind of a modern day Pharisee feel to you? Do you feel like these are those people that were looking pretty speaking pretty, but not. Not harnessing the, the, the tools that God and Christ had given to us in the right way.

RIck: I think, I don't, I don't know, looking back on it, maybe it was pharisaical, but I think looking back on it, what I really think is that Christians, especially church people tend to live very isolated spiritual lives. So they live in community with their church, with their church family, with their congregation.

They know 20 or 30 or 40 other Christians and they check in on Sunday morning at 10 o'clock, check out at noon, and then they don't really think about Jesus or God the rest of the week. Next Sunday they'll clock back in and think about him again. And so when that happens and you've compartmentalized your life like that. Then if somebody meets you on Tuesday and say, Hey, we're walking across America to tell people about Jesus, it's just simply doesn't compute with them because it's outside of the four walls of the church. It doesn't meet their criteria for where you do spiritual stuff.

And so.

Jane: So their opinion is like, these people must be weird. You know they're, they're fanatical or, you know, they're, they're, they're just off off their rocker.

RIck: I think that was part of it. I think the most disappointing thing was we tried to knock on the doors of as many churches we could along the walk and just say, Hey, is the pastor here? And if he was, we'd talk to him or her and say, This is what we're doing. We don't want money. We're not asking for your support. All we'd like to do is know, is there something we can pray about for your church? Is there a need? That your church has? And so many times the response was, we don't want anything to do with that. One, one pastor was so rude as to just say no and shut the door of the church.

So it was disappointing in lots of ways. And the surprise, the other side of that coin was the surprise was that it was the most what you and I might refer to as the most. Godless people the people who don't claim any kind of religion or spirituality, who aren't church goers, who don't call themselves Christian.

It was those people who many times gave us the warmest reception, hugs they, they gave us money. Without us asking for any money they, you know, they invited us home with them. We had a Native American man just outside of Holbrook, Arizona, who his name Oh, his name escapes me now, but his last name was Begay.

And he invited us to come out into the reservation to go to his house. And he was an alcoholic who'd been drinking, we bought him his lunch, and gave him some water, and he wanted us to come home with him. I don't know that, I don't know that there was a Christian on the entire walk that invited us into their home.

So again, I think, I don't think they're bad people or mean people, I just don't think that, that, that being, All about Jesus any other time than Sunday morning. It just doesn't fit their way of life and they don't know what to do with it. It's some information that they've never had to deal with before. And so.

Jane: That's, that's just so sad because Jesus should be all day, every day, all day, every day. Just like, what were we doing this? What was he talking about this morning? The day? Oh, give us this day, our daily bread that we read the Bible every day and then we live it daily.

RIck: He didn't give us a week's worth at a time.

Jason: Right.

RIck: Just a day.

Jane: Yeah. But the point is, you know, when you go to work, or when you go to school, or when you're standing in line at the grocery store, I mean, you just, you're just supposed to be Jesus. You're just supposed to love them and, and, and show Jesus in every, everything you do. And so many people just don't.

RIck: Yeah. And I think it's a misunderstanding too of what the term preeminent means. We talk so many times back in the Jesus movement that I was a part of we used to hold our finger up, you know, one way, one way, one way. And we would talk about Jesus being first. Well, when you say Jesus should be first, that means something has to be second.

So what is that gonna be? Okay, so, alright, church is second, family is third, my job is fourth so we go down the line and we have all these things. So once we check in and check out on Sunday morning, 10 to 12, we've checked off number one. We're done with the week. We've done all we need to do. It's the wrong way to look at Jesus.

Preeminent means He is first in everything I do. So He's first in my family. He's first in my church. He's first in my work. He's first in my finances. He's first in every area of my life. Well, when you look at Jesus that way, then all of a sudden if somebody comes to you on Thursday afternoon and says, Hey, I just want to know if you know Jesus. You're set! You've got an answer, you're ready to go. But if you haven't thought about him since noon on Sunday, it's going to take you back and you're going to, you're going to be startled that you're not going to know what to say. And so I think a lot of people just responded by saying, you know, I don't want to deal with that right now.

Jason: Fair enough. And you know, it is, it does require some practice, you know, you have to be intentional about it. And I've, I've even, , in episodes of my podcast, , I've put it out there because I want to be intentional about, you know, like I go to work and I do my work. And I'm so immersed into it that I don't step back and, you know, think about Jesus.

I don't step back. And so what I've challenged myself to do and what I end up doing is, , when I go into an important meeting or, you know, when I have a, a daunting task ahead of me on my work schedule. I take the time to just take that few seconds to say, God, give me the wisdom I need to, to do my best to, to do your work in this meeting, to do your work.

And, and it's just, it's practicing. And I, and I think people, people get, so busy, you know, quote unquote busy that they don't practice and that's sad for them because there's a, there's a lot of reward in that too.

Jane: Absolutely.

RIck: And, and him being preeminent in every area of our life, like you're sharing about work, it doesn't mean that we even have to speak the name of Jesus out loud. And a lot of people misunderstand that too. It's not preaching to people all the time. It's letting Jesus be himself through your skin. You know I, I've had, I've known some people who, and the way I describe them is they just ooze Jesus. And I, I think that's, I think that is what God is after in our life for us to ooze Jesus.

It's not to preach Jesus so much, although there's a time and a place for that. There's certainly a time to be vocal. There's a time to share the gospel, to share the plan of salvation, to lead people in prayer, to pray for them. There's times for that, but there's an awful lot more time when we don't have a chance to be vocal that we need to be exemplary so that when people are looking at us, they see Jesus.

And that's what Paul said. He said, I, I pray that every, every day what people see is the cross and not me that they see, you know, that that's what I want people to see when they see me. I don't, I don't want them to see me. I'm flawed. I make mistakes. I lose my temper. I, I have issues. I have problems. I'm not perfect.

And so I don't want people to see me. What I want them to see is Jesus in me. They'll always be disappointed in me. They'll never be disappointed in Jesus. So the more Jesus they see in the less of me, they see the more they'll be drawn to him.

Jason: Yeah, no, that's, that makes sense. So there's a question that I'm hoping you'll both chime in since we have introvert extrovert going on. I'll tell you, I did a personality profile at a company I worked for a few years back and, and I came back 50 percent right in the middle and there's a word for it, it's called ambivert. So I'm like right in the middle of introvert extrovert, you know, I can be extroverted and I'm comfortable there, but I have a battery. When my battery runs out, I am done. That's it. So I, the question is, what, you know, what advice would you give to others who want to witness, but are kind of timid or afraid of rejection or afraid of being yelled at, so to speak?

RIck: Well, the first thing I'd suggest is that they get our new book.

Jason: Excellent, excellent segue.

RIck: I'm not here. I'm not here to plug the book. I've just we've just released a new book for pre order. It'll be out fully in the third on the 13th of November And it's called until the whole world knows and the subtitle is a guide to sharing Jesus for the introvert extrovert and Jesus freak so All of us have different personality Types and some of us are comfortable speaking. Some of us aren't

I just give you one example The first part is about sharing Jesus without saying a word. So there's like 20 different suggestions, ways that you can speak Jesus without actually talking. And one of the ways is to take a big piece of poster board and get some big, wide, colorful magic markers and write on there. "Jesus is praying for you" or "smile God loves you" or "have a great day." And then go out by the interstate highway or a busy highway near your home and just hold it up as people go to work on Monday morning. Now, you don't have to say anything. You don't have to be an extrovert to do that. It probably is out of your comfort zone a little bit.

But that's one thing you can do that will sow a seed of joy, and Jesus, into people's lives without having to say anything. So if you're uncomfortable talking, there are ways to share Jesus with people. You can write notes to people, write cards to people. You can put a yard sign out in your yard that says, I'm praying for all my neighbors. There's lots of ways that you can minister Jesus to people without, without speaking. As an introvert that's important to me.

Jane: As an extrovert. Without being without being blatant and being obnoxious, you can just be friendly, be kind. I'm a substitute teacher in our local high school. And I have to tell you Jason, it is amazing to me how many students They just want to hang around my desk, and, you know they tell me stuff, and, you know, boys and girls alike, and it's like, you know, I'll come home and I'll tell Rick, I'll go, why are these kids hanging around me?

And he says, because you love them. And I do. I care about them. I'm not their everyday teacher. So I'm just there, you know, one day here and one day there. And they're so happy to see me because I love them. And I really do. So even Even at work or at school or whatever. You don't have to be, you know, Jesus loves you. Jesus loves, you know, do you know Jesus? I, I rarely even speak the name of Jesus, but they know that I have him and Actually, one of the things is I don't let them cuss in my room if I hear, you know, any, you know and, I'll just say "language" you know and they'll go. Oh, yeah, Miss McKinney doesn't, Miss McKinney doesn't tolerate. You guys know that, you know, and so I mean You could be a witness, even...

RIck: But they, they know that's not because she's, that's a rule. They know that out of respect for her faith. And it makes a difference.

Jason, we talk about introvert and extrovert, although I am definitely an introvert. One of the things that has been interesting. I've been a pastor f or over 50 years and it's tough for a pastor to be an introvert because you're constantly called upon to be a people person and to shake hands and to be out there on the front lines and go to fellowship dinners and all those kinds of things.

And honestly, if, if that were up to me, I'd preach on the internet and I'd never leave the house. That would be my natural tendency, but God has enabled me to be what I call a functioning introvert when I'm around people. 90 percent of people, unless I've told them personally, would never guess that I'm an introvert, because when I'm around people God lets me turn on and love people and, and hug them and shake their hands. And they're the most important thing in the world to me right at that moment.

Now I do go home and collapse, you know, like you were talking about out. When my battery's out I'm not energized by being with people. I'm drained by being with people, but that doesn't mean that God can't supernaturally give us the ability to be what we need to be in order to be Jesus to people.

And sometimes that does require speaking. And sometimes it does require being visible and, and, and pressing the flesh, so to speak, and being that person who's shaking hands and kissing babies. But whatever God asks us to do, he will empower us to do. And that's another one of the things we found on the walk is that when God asks you to do something, he will provide the encouragement the strength the wisdom, the finances, everything you need in order to accomplish that mission.

Jane: Sometimes for the extrovert, God helps, you know when to keep your mouth shut. Because I'm the kind of person that wants to fix everything. If I see something, I just want to jump in and do it. If I see somebody needs something, I mean, even to the point of my students, I want to jump in and do their work for them.

You know, I just, I just want to do, do, do, do. And, and, and that's where God steps in and says, just hold back. Just, you know, let them, let them tell you, listen. And that's a hard thing for an extrovert to do is to listen. So listen, be patient, all those things. Yeah. So it's all about listening to God. It really is.

Jason: Absolutely. Yeah. I, it reminded me of, I think I may have mentioned this in one of my episodes, but you know, when you, when you are going through a really tough time or you're doing a really hard task, when you get to the other side and you look back and you're like, how did I ever do that?

I equate that to, that's the point. Where God picks you up and carries you, you know, that's the point where, you know, you run out of energy, but you still go because, you know, the, the power of Christ, the power of the spirit, the power of God is pushing you forward. And you do get to the other side and you're like, I have no idea how I made that happen. I have no idea how I, how I got through this tough time.

Jane: That's totally how the walk was for us. We'd get to the end of the day and, and I would start. I actually kept two journals. I kept one journal that was totally people, and, and places, and names, and experiences, and then I took another journal that was strictly the logistics the, the places, the mileage, you know, and I'd get, I'd get to the end of the day, and I'd start writing down, you know, 20, 21, 22, I think one day we had a 23 day mile, and look at that, like, How did we do that? You know, and, and you're right. You're exactly right. You just look back and you think, well, God, God just carried us, you know, and.

RIck: Especially when you put that first foot down in the morning and you.

Jane: And it hurts.

RIck: You say ouch.

Jason: Oh, for sure. I felt really bad for you, Jane, listening to the way he describes some of that.

And I know when you love somebody and you see them suffering so much, you know, especially for guys. We're fixers. We want to fix things. We want to put things back together. And when you can't, you know, I have a, I have a 13 year old daughter and she's in an age where there are things that I can't fix for her and things that I shouldn't fix for her.

But you still want to, you still, you know, it hurts you to see their pain. And then I, you know, I can't even imagine what you both went through. But, but it's all, you know, it's all part of. What makes it amazing, what makes it godly is that you did it, even though you had blisters every day, even though, you know, you know, at one point your hip got messed up, Rick, or I think it was a hip or something got messed up. By...

RIck: Yeah, well, lots of things got messed up that day.

Jason: By the end of the walk, you're just like two soldiers dragging yourselves to the finish line.

Jane: Pretty much.

Jason: But you did it and God did it.

Jane: You know, people ask me. You know, how are your feet? Are they okay? And my feet are like baby's feet. They really are. They're just as smooth as they can be. God completely healed them. I mean, they're a little bigger. They're a little bigger than they were. I now wear a size six. I wore a size five before the walk. So, they grew, but they're okay.

RIck: What happens is when you take that many steps on pavement or hard surfaces your feet spread out, the bones spread out, and they never return.

Jane: Yep.

RIck: So we both gained some size in our feet, and I lost an inch and a half of height. During the walk from my spine being compressed 5,000,000 steps. And of course I never got that back either. Much to my chagrin, I used to be six foot now I'm five, 10 and a half. So

Jason: That's all that stuff for anybody who's listening. Who's interested in the book. All of that stuff is actually the appendix. There's some really great, you know logistical if you will, using your word, Jane. Yeah. Logistical things or, or consequences that you don't even think about. Like, I would've never thought that your foot would change shape and size walking that much, but it, I mean, it makes sense.

Jane: Yeah.

Jason: You know, you're, you're using it in a way that you don't normally use it

Jane: for sure. .

Jason: So that's, you know, if, if you do get the book, which I encourage everyone to get the book read the appendix. It's really entertaining. , it's really good to see, you know, all, all of that behind the scenes stuff.

All right. Well, I, I want to be respectful of your time. I have two questions actually. One is, you know, and this is, this is a kind of a personal question. You know, if you're, if you knew somebody, you know, such as myself, who's interested in a career change in the ministry at some point, and didn't really have the option of going back to a formal education, where would you tell them to start?

RIck: I'd tell them to start right where they are. So That may be finding out if you have some other believers at work and seeing if they'd be interested in meeting once a week or twice a week for a little Bible study at, at the place that you work. So go to the lunchroom or off site, just a couple of. blocks and have lunch together, but arrange a Bible study time and you can teach it which will give you some experience in teaching the word, but that's one of those things that can really be good.

Another thing is to volunteer in places. Public schools are always needing volunteers and usually you have to be fairly careful in a public school setting but there are opportunities to help tutor kids and help them read especially speakers of other languages need. Help with English many times and so yeah, it's just an opportunity to be Jesus to them in your actions. But also you can arrange it so there's other opportunities and you can you know Formulate questions that can be asked so that they'll want to ask questions about your faith So that's really great if you like working with students a lot of times a football team or a basketball team It's looking for a chaplain, somebody who can just go in and maybe have prayer in the locker room before the game starts.

You can volunteer your services at a local church and, and just start by cleaning bathrooms or sweeping the floors or picking up the auditorium after worship service or getting it ready for next week. And there are just lots of ways. You know, I think one of the problems with most of us is we want to start at the top.

So we want the suit and tie, we want the pulpit, and we want our name out on the marquee Reverend so and so. Very rarely does it happen that way. We actually had a, a driver, one of our drivers on the walk and she was so impressed with what God was doing on the walk, she told Jane before she left, I'm going to go home, and I'm going to recommit myself to witnessing and sharing my faith with people. She went home. She was a big NASCAR fan and she took the NASCAR training, became a NASCAR chaplain. And now she's a pastor of a United Methodist church in Cincinnati. And we actually went to her church a few weeks ago and spoke and she didn't start big.

She started at the little dirt track there in Lawrenceburg, Indiana with just some little midget cars that race. But she was Jesus to those drivers. She would pray with them before the race and pray with them if they got hurt and counsel with them. And so. That's kind of an out of the way place. She didn't get paid for doing that. She was volunteering her time, but it was the beginning. And I think when, you know, Jesus said, if you're faithful over little things, I'll make you master over many. So it starts where you are, and it might start with one or two people. We started the college ministry in Marion, Indiana, several years ago with three girls.

They'd never even considered a college ministry. Within two years, we were running 150, 175 college students every Sunday morning. Because we were faithful to start with three. And so start where you are, start small, start with what you know, invite a few friends, have a Bible study in your house, invite some folks over for a party all that's in the book, by the way, just tons and tons and tons of ways to invite people. into a place where you can tell them about Jesus. That's how you start. You don't need a college degree. You don't need a seminary degree. You just need Jesus. And Jesus promised that if we'd open our mouth, he'd put the words in our mouth. So.

Jane: And if you're willing, he will open doors.

RIck: Yeah, absolutely.

Jane: All you got to do is just be willing and just tell him, Lord, whatever you want me to do, I'll do it. And then let him guide you. And he will open doors, he will open amazing doors that you never even thought, you know.

RIck: Yeah he will.

Jason: Absolutely, it kind of comforts me. I feel like I'm, I'm kind of on the right track. You know, I, I spend as much time at the church as they'll tolerate me, you know, volunteering, doing various things. And, and, you know, I, I did I did lead a a father's Bible study, you know, I have a studies for dads and I only had two guys show up. And it's funny. The pastor or the minister came up and he's like, you wanna keep doing this? I'm like, yeah, I have two guys who are hungry.

Jane: Yeah.

Jason: You know, we're gonna do this. So, yeah. So yeah, that's good advice. I appreciate that.

RIck: Well, and you got a podcast,

Jason: so the last

RIck: you got a podcast

Jason: and I have a podcast. Yeah. Well, and that's where this podcast started. And I don't know if I've explained this well enough in the podcast or around the podcast, but you know, I wanted to get out there and minister, but I also wanted to learn. And I'm like, well, if I do a podcast. I have to learn, I have to research, and then I get to share it with people and whoever listens is great, you know, I'm sharing the message. So that's where this came from.

Jane: Okay good, I love it.

Jason: But so the last question I have is, you know, is there anything else you guys want to share with anyone who listens to this?

Jane: Just say yes to Jesus. 50 years ago when we first, even before we got married, we would pray together. We had Bible study together and we just felt like that we wanted to say yes to God, no matter what he asked us to do. And so we said yes, then that no matter what he asked us to do, the answer would be yes.

And he might've asked 50 other people to walk across America that said, no, you don't know, you know, but we said yes. And So, probably not going to ask you to walk across America, but he may ask you to walk across the street and tell your neighbor about Jesus, you know. So, just be willing to say yes.

RIck: Yeah. I always remind people that Christianity is always only one generation from extinction. If there's ever a whole generation that doesn't know, Christianity ceases to exist. And the reason why it continues is because we keep telling the next generation.

We're in a time and a culture, a society where Jesus and God are minimalized every day, made fun of every day. , belittled every day. Our kids get for the most part, an education that disregards, at least disregards him, if not disrespects Him. And so it's up to us. It's up to us who have a relationship with him. That's why we are so intent on doing everything we can, posting blogs, posting Facebook posts, writing books to encourage people to share their faith with people.

Because the only answer, the answer is not political. The answer is not financial, the answer is not who's sitting in this office or that office. The only true answer is Jesus because he's the only one who can transform lives. He's the only one who can transform hearts. And it's going to be changed hearts that change our nation and change our world, not changed politics or changed leaders.

It's going to be changed hearts. And so I'd rather, I'd rather spend my time. Politicking for Jesus than for anybody else because he's the only one who has the real answer and everything else is superficial anyway, and if I, if I'm involved too heavily in one side or the other, when it comes to current issues, what I do is alienate half of my audience and so I'd rather talk positively about Jesus than negatively about anything else and And people are much more likely to hear a positive message than a negative one.

The world really knows what Christians are against but very few people know what Christians are for and I think that's that's shameful, and I think it is what's causing us to lose the battle in our world today. What we need to be telling people is what we're for and what God can do for them.

It is called good news after all, and not bad news. And unfortunately, Christians are guilty of spending way more time on the bad news than they are on the good news. And so I think when we do that and say yes to God he'll use us to impact our world and to make a difference.

Jason: That's great advice.

Thank you both so much for, for doing this, for taking time out on a Saturday. You know, I have, I have a quote full time job, so it makes podcasting a little difficult sometimes. But but you guys have been great. You know, your book is amazing. I'm going to tell everyone to buy it. I'm probably going to go pre order the, I didn't know the, you know, I'd went out there for pre order.

So I'll probably go do that. I do plan to put the links to all the books in the show notes and. And, you know, we're trying to spread the word, trying to help you guys out. Because, because your message is important because it centers on, on Christ as well. And, and, you know, and I know this is, this is a message thing. It's not about selling books. It's not about popularity. You know, you guys have an amazing message. And other people really, really need to hear it. So.

RIck: And we're, we're available anytime. We'd love to come back anytime you need a guest.

Jane: Sure. We'd love to.

Jason: That's awesome. I love that. I love that. Yeah, I haven't, I, you know, I've thought about that and I keep, you know, keep everyone's information and I, you know, I want to keep in touch with everyone that I, that I talked to on the show, even people that maybe I talked to and don't come on the show, but.

But I would love that. I would definitely love that. You know, maybe after your, your new book and I get a chance to read it, we'll, we'll talk again.

RIck: Sounds great.

Jane: Sounds good.

RIck: Thank you, Jason.

Jason: All right. Thank you guys.

What an amazing interview and I'm so grateful for people like Rick and Jane who are out there doing God's good work. I want to say thank you again to them for sharing their wisdom and their experience with the My Ministry Mission listeners. I really can't urge you enough to go out and buy their book "And... so we walked" and definitely read it. You won't be sorry. Again, there are links in the show notes to all of their works.

Just a reminder that next week, another exciting episode of the Book of Revelation will be available. So come back and join me and Laura as we really hit the ground running on this series.

Remember to read your Bibles. Remember to love each other. And until next time. May God bless you and keep you. God bless everyone.