Episode 239 (Ken Helser: Part 2)

Podcast Intro [00:00:01] Being a great father takes a massive amount of courage. Instead of being an amazing leader and a decent dad, I want to be an amazing dad and a decent leader. The oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. As a dad, I get on my knees and I fight for my kids. Let us be those dads who stop the generational pass down of trauma. I want encounters with God where he teaches me what to do with my kids. I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m going to give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg [00:00:39] Gentlemen, welcome back to dadAWESOME. My name is Jeff Zaugg and today, episode 239, we’re going to dive back into the second half of my conversation with Ken Helser. Guys, last week’s conversation is the set up, so important to kind of give us a, man, this is where we’re headed, this is the back story. But today we’re going to talk about journaling. We’re going to talk about hearing God’s voice. This this like dependance on I can’t operate from my own strength. I need to know the voice of God. We need to know God’s voice for our kids. We’re also going to go after practical wisdom that he would pass on to his grandkids and his, you know, grandsons when they become dads and his granddaughters, their husbands someday as they become dads. So he’s thinking generationally with his wisdom that he shares. This was a late night conversation, but so helpful and so like and just I was just sitting so keen and it was almost difficult for me to think of the next question because I was just like taking it all in and you guys are going to love this conversation. Here’s part two with Ken Helser. The idea of transition and just expecting that there’s not a rival, but there’s the next what’s the next, God’s going to unveil the next and transition is hard. You walk through so many rounds of like…

Ken Helser [00:01:59] Oh, yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:01:59] I have a dream, but there’s like another transition season, another transition. And we were chatting on the walk about just that that is that is the better way to live than to think that we can arrive and stay. Let’s keep taking ground. Why is that important for all of us dads to to think and be prepared that there’s always going to be the next thing.

Ken Helser [00:02:21] Well, as the Lord said to me one time, he said, as long as you’re following me, you will always be in transition. And what that means to me, is I am more deeply in love with my wife now, soon to be 56 years, than I’ve ever been. And the reason for it is 2nd Corinthians, chapter five, verse 17. If any man is in Christ, he’s a new creation. And that means tomorrow morning when I wake up, I’m going to be married to a new creation. And the moment I think I’ve got my wife figured out, I’ve blown it. And we treat each other from what we know of the past and never allow them to change and to see them as a new creation. And we react to one another because, well, doggone it, you always do the same old thing, that never gives them an opportunity to get to grow past that. So I guess the most beautiful thing in all the world is to say that I’m married to someone brand new and I absolutely did not know my wife, if she’s created in the image of God, she is a mystery. Every human being is a mystery. And living together, the most beautiful thing is, God reveals the mystery. But if you ever think you’ve got them figured out, it’s almost like it’s over. Hmm. That’s an incredible transition. Yeah. That, that alone is a, plus my perspective of things should always be changing. And it’s 77 years old, soon to be 78. But there’s something I’ve learned about the way of life in the spirit through age. There’s a big difference in me and you right now, you’re 40, 40ish. You know what the biggest difference is? I need God more than you do. Because Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit. And the longer and the closer you get to him, the more needy you become. You’re most blessed, poverty, poor in spirit, you’re most blessed when you’re most needy for Him. Because if I don’t need him and I can do things on my own, where is the relationship with Almighty God? For Jesus Christ to say, in myself, I can do nothing. I can only do what I see my Father doing and I can only speak what I hear my father saying. And because I’ve said a whole bunch of stuff and done all this stuff on my own. Oh, God, I don’t want to do anything anymore thats not you. I don’t want to think I can ever do anything. I am more needy for you now at 76 than I was when I first got started on this thing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:17] And if we find ourselves, like if I find myself like with less of that neediness that need the desperation, God, like I need You to show up here. Like, what would you suggest if we if we find ourselves living in a place of self dependance? What would your suggestion be?

Ken Helser [00:05:38] Well, read this morning, this thing, I’ve been able to cast every single care on the Lord. It’s easy to say that. It’s easy to read it and think, well, that’s true. But sometimes I’m amazed at how much I carry until God just really lets me say, I’ve given up a lot here, I’ve walked away and let the kids have that farm. I’ve let them have and do the ministry and I seldom go down. And sometimes it’s painful for me because I still want to do things. But you know what? I’m up here doing it with you right now. Yeah. Oswald Chamber says the Sermon on the Mount that he preached that sermon to produce despair in us. And when you read the Sermon on the Mount and realize I can not make myself poor in spirit. I can try to be pure. Yeah. Everything in the Sermon on the Mount is what we will become if we follow and walk with Jesus. Jesus teaches what we should be but then He makes us what He teaches we should be. I cannot do it without Himself and that’s where my dependency is more than it’s ever been. And one of the some people say, well, when you get older, you have wisdom. I tell you what, wisdom comes from failure. I’ve had much more failure in the last 53 years than you can imagine. And every time, I love it when God catches me, and use to I didn’t. But when I get caught, that’s freedom. And I’m just constantly, well if you fall on your face enough, then one day you wake up, say, you know, I can, I can’t do that anymore, and I’m not even supposed to do that anymore. Acceptt Jesus do it. I cannot do it. I am helpless.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:34] Journaling..

Ken Helser [00:07:35] That sounds like real despair, doesn’t it?

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:37] Yeah, well…

Ken Helser [00:07:38] It’s not despair at all. It’s a wonderful thing when you realize you can’t do it but he can do all things.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:45] Strengthens us. Yeah. And just even remembering over the years, all of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I know journaling is something that you train others on. When did you start keeping a journal?

Ken Helser [00:07:58] There’s an old man in Okeechobee, Florida, down with the alligators, a man in green, and he was a Jesus loving cowboy named Mickey Evans. And he has, he’s passed now, but he had one of the most successful recovery ministries in the United States. And how did I know? The Chinese government actually came because addiction is a worldwide problem and they visited there several times to know what to do with addicts. The Russian Orthodox Church sends over a delegation every year, and Mickey had 78 men in recovery. That’s a huge program.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:39] Yeah.

Ken Helser [00:08:41] And then, not only recovery, then if you get through the first phase, which is ten month program. Then you can come back with your wife and children and stay for two years to rebuild family, whether that was long or short, is when I first went down there and realized what an incredible place it was, we met with a little man and I said, Mickey, yours is an incredible successful program, what’s, he says, every man journal’s the voice of the Lord. I said, Mickey, you got addicts writing their most honest prayers, this is journaling. Yes. You write your most honest prayers. Skip a line, means give God some space and say, what do you want to say to me Lord about the prayer? Just pray. And you write what you believe to be the voice of the Lord, which comes straight from Scripture and Habakkuk. How long the Lord must we endure this? And then the next, verse 5, look and see, I’m going to do something new today. Sometimes when you’re reading the prophets, you don’t know when God speaking and when they’re speaking. And when you get in that kind of relationship with the Lord, it’s back and forth because that’s what it is. So Mickey asked me if I was journaling, because I wrote things down, I said, Yes, I am. And after seven or eight years going down there, he looked at my page and he took my little journal, threw it across the room, it hit the wall, fell on the floor. He said, Boy, that ain’t journaling, that’s keeping a diary. Okay. And so I went off with him and he spent five days up in the mountains of North Carolina. He drove all the way from Florida. He spent five days with me to teach me how to journal the voice of the Lord. I spent one year doing it. And then I began to teach in YWAM, here, and all the schools all over. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve tried to teach how to journal the voice of the Lord.

Jeff Zaugg [00:10:44] And for us listening, who are like hungry for more coaching, more guidance, is there, is there a way to, without being at one of those rooms that you’re teaching, is there is there any any way for us to learn more? Is there anything coaching you can give right now in this conversation?

Ken Helser [00:11:06] After teaching and now for 31 years or more to people, the biggest question that I get every time I teach journaling the voice of the Lord, Mr. Helser, how do I know if it’s me or if it’s God? Yeah. And finally I said, Lord? And he said, it’s, it’s faith. You have to believe that God wants to speak to you more than you even want to listen. And by faith that when you ask God a question and you get the impression, you step out in faith with the first thing, you write the first word and let it flow. If if it’s of the Spirit, Jesus said, out of your innermost being would flow rivers. And a lot of people never journal because they’re afraid to write the first word. Yeah. And I have learned to write the first word down and if I do that by faith, it’s like Peter stepping off the side of the boat. As I exhort faith to write the first thing I think I’m hearing, it begins to take a flow and it becomes so prophetic, it’s unbelievable. Yeah. I, on the morning of 9/11, I journaled that morning but went on about my day like everybody did. I journaled 6:30-7 o’ clock that morning. I mean, all of a sudden, how in the world can a plane fly into the Trade Towers? By the time I get home, I quit everything I rushed home to, and Linda’s in tears in front of the TV. The second plane has flown and then we watched the drama. And all of a sudden people are calling, we get the prayer meeting here at the farm. And I forgot that I had journaled that morning. So I said, wonder what I got that morning. It didn’t make any sense when that morning, when I said, Lord, is there anything that looks like a great day to day. Is there anything you want to say to me? He said, Yes. Love your enemies. Do not fear the one that can destroy the body but fear the one that can also destroy the soul. I say to you and once again, love your enemies and pray for those who will come against you. That’s what God gave me that morning of 9/11. He knew what was coming. That’s why I always say people journal first thing in the morning because you don’t know what’s coming in your day. Sitting over there on that couch one morning I’m journaling and I said, it was it it was not an intense day. It was just, well, I feel like I should do this, Lord. So here I am. Is there anything you want to say to me? He says, the Lord said, I’m glad you asked. I’m glad, God says, I’m glad you asked me if there’s anything I want to say, because there is something I want you to know. Your daughter is getting ready to have surgery and you haven’t even prayed for her. And I said, and I said, Lord, but it’s just a little thing up there on her ear. He said, Any time they cut an ear, it’s frightening, it’s scary, and this is your daughter. I want you to go into town, I want you to anoint her with oil, take her out to lunch afterwards, go out in the car and pray for her, anoint the oil before her surgery this afternoon. And when you go, I will put my angels about you, and no harm and no fear will be yours, and you will come home safely. That added part didn’t make any sense to me at all. What I did not know is I would have a head on collision with a woman who hit me at 45 miles an hour. I threw in reverse, she was having a diabetic coma, she threw me across two lanes of traffic and almost went through the window at Arby’s. Now, this is the part about journaling when you journal and then that happens, do you realize what that does to your faith that you can hear God? Oh, I wish people would do that, because hearing God’s voice, how can you have a relationship with someone you never hear? And God does want to speak to us more than we want to listen. So that, in a nutshell is and then of course, what’s happened with journaling is when you journal the voice of the Lord, you are practicing hearing the prophetic voice of God for yourself. And if you’re diligent with that, yeah. As he said to Timothy, stir up the gift that’s within you. When you journal, you’re stirring up that prophetic gift. And then it becomes natural to be able to be prophetic with people around you.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:34] Yeah. Well, I, I mean, you filled me with a bunch of hope and courage to go try, to go why would I not ask God, do you have something for me today?

Ken Helser [00:15:44] Do you have something you want to say?

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:45] Something you want to say to me today? Yeah. We’ve covered a lot of topics already, Ken. I’m so grateful. And I know you’ve, you’ve hit on a few of these things already, but when you think about your 12 grandkids. Nine of them are grandsons, right? Or is it ten, ten and two grandsons and granddaughters?

Ken Helser [00:16:04] How did you remember that? Two daughters?

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:06] Yeah.

Ken Helser [00:16:06] Two granddaughters and ten grandsons.

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:09] Two and ten, that’s right. And three of the grandsons are married. When you think about all of those grandkids being married and Lord willing, all of them having kids someday and being dads, would you think you, is there anything top of mind you’re like I’d want to share this when they go about stepping into this, this new chapter of being a dad, an intentional dad, what are some of the other two or three things that you mentioned and love your wife, like you mentioned here, the voice of God. We’ve talked about that, thinking generationally. We’ve talked, we covered a bunch of things, but are there any things you’d like, want to add an exclamation point to of like grandsons and spouses of granddaughters, like, I want you to know this as you as you become dads?

Ken Helser [00:16:59] I think the most important thing… I know that the hardest thing in the Christian life is to let God love you. And I believe the second hardest thing in the Christian life is to be still. And one time the Lord said to me, he said, I was in Australia, kookaburras woke me up at 4:30 in the morning. And when I woke up at 4:30 I thought, Wow, this is wonderful. I’m going to shower right quick. I got the coffee going, Lord, I get to have 2 hours, but 3 hours before my first breath and I got back to bed and I sat down on the bed, the Lord said, Do you love being with me, don’t you? I said Lord, I’m glad the Kookaburras woke me up. I got hours just to be with you. And the Lord said to me, You enjoy me, don’t you? I said, I do. He said, Most people don’t enjoy me, they endure me. And my quiet time, my intimacy with the Lord is so special I can hardly wait to wake up. And that didn’t get there overnight. It was discipline. It was difficult. But I want all of my kids and grandkids to know the most important thing about their papa, is my secret intimacy, wonderful time that I have with the Lord. You cannot survive without that. That’s the most important thing of all, is that intimacy that I enjoy with Jesus. And I would, it would break my heart to find out that they did that and miss it with the Lord because that’s what Papa did, or that’s because what you’re supposed to do to be a good Christian, right? That’s enduring God. Yeah. But to be able to enjoy the pleasure. You know and that that and make a note about that. This is one of the most profound things that ever happened to me in journaling. This is the most profound thing. I was journaling one morning when I finished, the Lord said, Thank you. I said thank you? He says, yes, thank you for, thank you for putting yourself in a place where I could speak to you. He said, Remember when your children were little and you would want a discipline about something and they didn’t have time for you? And they hurried along their way, you know. He said, nothing brings me more joy then when, I, as the daddy have a child that’s willing to climb up on my lap and say, Daddy, what do you wanna, tell me the stories of your heart? What do you want to share with me? He said, do you know how that feels when your children do that? Isn’t that the greatest joy of being a daddy? That the children just want to get to know you and climb up your lap? And he says, when you journal, you’re climbing in my lap, for me to tell you what’s on my heart. And for you to write it down is your history with me that you have for the rest of your life. Wow. And I would want that for my grandchildren more than anything else, is to have that secret kind of intimacy with Him that they can climb up onto his lap and talk to Him about anything and allow him to respond. I don’t know of anything I want more. That, to me is the greatest prosperity, abundant life that you can have. Everything else is second to that, Jeff. And I mean that with all my heart. I know. And how did I get there? The Lord says to me, how did you get there? And one of the things is, from hitting my head against the wall that every time I got in a hurry and ran out of here, I made big mistakes. I have a granddaughter named Haven and her mother and father, Jonathan and Melissa, bought her a little IKEA piece of furniture. IKEA is not exactly the most expensive piece.

Jeff Zaugg [00:21:20] No.

Ken Helser [00:21:21] She would put her foot on the bottom drawer to reach the top drawer and her mother said one day, that thing’s going to break. So I’m going to get you a little stepping stool so you can get to the top. Now use the, one day she was in a hurry, ran upstairs and they could hear it down below. That thing went into 100 pieces, just crash. She comes walking out with that long face and Melissa says Haven, did she use the step stool? She wanted to lie. We all want to lie, you know, get away. She said, no, I didn’t Mama. She says we’ll go back into the room because this is the way Jonathan and Melissa discipline their children. If they go across the boundaries and make mistakes, they say, well, we told you that when you do that, we want you just to sit with God and let him tell you why you did that. To get to your heart. So she went upstairs and she’ll sit there and she was only eight or nine years old, but they started them when they were little. That God will let you know why you did that. And it’ll be over. It’s not punishment. There’s a difference in punishment and discipline. Yeah, but this is your discipline. She came out of the room, five/ten minutes later, and John and Melissa looked up, so what did God say to you, Haven? She said, The Lord told me that every time I get in a hurry, I break things. And look at my life and look at your life and look at all of our lives. Every time we hurry, we break things. And that’s one of the ways you learn to be still and know that He is God. After you’ve broken enough things does about time, it starts to sink in.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:18] I should know this by now. Yeah.

Ken Helser [00:23:19] Lord, I repent. I don’t need to, I don’t need to keep living like this. And I am, so, you know what I’m so glad, I’m glad about? I’m glad that when we sow bad thing, we reap a bad thing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:32] Yeah. It’s a gift.

Ken Helser [00:23:33] It is, it is a gift. Because, if you got the favor anyway, because I never would have learned how to get life somewhere right. And you know what? Not, a lot of people don’t do life well. God wants us to live life well. Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:54] Ken, I’m very thankful for this conversation. And I wanted to ask, would you take a moment and pray for pray for me, pray for all the dads listening and pray for your great grandkids as they become dads. Like, I just love to invite you to pray over all of us and and pray that God helps us to put, to take steps of closeness, of slowness, of intimacy, of journaling. I mean, the things that you’ve shared that God would guide us to what our next steps are.

Ken Helser [00:24:24] Father, I thank you that He is the only perfect Daddy. You’re the only perfect Father. And I pray that all of us fathers would just find the mercy and grace to realize we’ll never get it as well as You. But when I let you follow me. And I just become your child. That’s where I really learn how to father my own. And I just pray for that intimacy, that, that calling you have for us to just come and sit and be with you. I remember Mickey Evans saying, the Lord said to him, Mickey can you just come and sit with me? Is that that hard to do? Mm. I just pray that that gets into our heart and gives us encouragement and great grace. To follow not only our own, but another generation. In Jesus name, amen.

Jeff Zaugg [00:25:28] Guys, thank you so much for joining us for Episode 239 with Ken Helser. The conversation notes, the links to the ministry Cageless Birds, the links to several YouTube videos of Ken going deeper on some of these topics, they’re all going to be in the show notes. So I want to link these, get out to you guys. Also at dadAWESOME.org/239, you’ll get the full show notes and the transcripts for today’s episode. I am so thankful you guys listen today. I also am thankful for some of you guys who have already started to text in feedback. We’re inviting you guys to send us a text message. Here’s the numbers, text 651-370-8618, simply text the word “dad” to the number 651-370-8618 and you’ll get a, first automated response, and then we’ll be in touch, we can text back and forth. We’d love to know your feedback on themes, topics, broad feedback for the ministry, dadAWESOME, future guests you’d love to have on. Anything, we really want to hear from you guys, how to make this ministry dad awesome more valuable. So please shoot us that text message again. I appreciate that you guys listened. This is a big deal, last week and this week, the episodes are really going deeper after some of the hard stuff that matters. We need to hear God’s voice as we step into being dadAWESOME for our kids. Praying for you guys. Have a fantastic week.