Episode 275 Transcript (Justin Hanneken)

Episode 275 (Justin Hanneken)

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 gonna give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:00:31] What’s up, guys? Welcome back to dadAWESOME. My name is Jeff Zaugg and Justin Hanneken is my guest this week. He’s from Ends of the Earth Cycling. And speaking of cycling, guys, our Minnesota Fathers for the Fatherless 100 mile bike ride, the end of April is kind of our early registration deadline, so the price is going to jump up by, I can’t remember now if it’s 15 bucks, 20 bucks. Sign up now, though, August 5th, this will be our fifth year of hosting Fathers for the Fatherless, expecting hundreds of men to ride on behalf of our local and global partners that directly serve the fatherless. We are so thrilled to grow this mission forward. We’re expectant. We’re hopeful that we’re going to pass $1,000,000 this year in our total fundraising, and we’d love to for you to be a part of the team. Our mission, man, half of the over 600 cyclists who have joined us are not cyclists. They joined and said, I care about this vision of helping fatherless kids and I’m up for a new challenge, so don’t count yourself out just if you don’t have a road bike, you don’t think of yourself as a cyclist who can bike a hundred miles, you can and will help get you there. Today’s episode, though, I am so excited to welcome Justin Hanneken. He has been a friend for the past year and a half. He actually flew himself up and joined us last summer for the Fathers for the Fatherless bike ride. As I mentioned, he leads a cycling ministry, we’ll talk about that in the conversation. Fatherhood is his core heart is, man, he’s a dad first, but he also leads an incredible mission and he brings a ton of intentionality and practical wisdom to this conversation. So welcome to episode 275, my Conversation with Justin Hanneken.

Justin Hanneken: [00:02:28] Thanks again for having me on dadAWESOME podcast and I love what God’s doing for you and your family, as well. And I’ve been married to Karena for 18 years. We were kind of high school sweethearts, so our senior year of high school, we started dating, we dated for six years, we’ve been married for 18, and I just love that, being together like more than half your lives. And God gave us three precious daughters. So Gloria is 16 and Bryce is 15 and Kenzi is 12 and after we had three girls, we said, Thank you, God, we’re done, we’re good. And he said, No, you’re not, you’re going to adopt a boy and a girl. So we have AJ, our son AJ is 15 and our daughter, CeCe, is 14 and they came into our family ten years ago. They’re they’re such a gift to us. They’re actually our niece and nephew, and we became their mom and their dad. And so it’s been really special to have the Hanne Tribe, our last name is Hanneken, and we refer to ourselves as the tribe or the Hanne tribe. And yeah, man, I just I just love being a dad. It’s one of my favorite things.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:03:35] So we’ve had a chance to get to know each other because of an introduction a year ago. Great cup of coffee we shared together in Fort Myers, Florida. And then you flew yourself up to set, I’ve never had this where I meet someone, one coffee conversation, you’re like, I’m in. I want to come support the mission of Fathers for the Fatherless. And you flew up and joined and rode with us, which was so cool, last summer in Minnesota, you came and rode 100 Miles with us. But so I feel like I’ve gotten to know you, but I’m still looking forward to getting to know your family. How would, like your friends, your neighbors, those in the ministry that you lead, how would they describe the Hanne tribe? Like, how would they describe your family?

Justin Hanneken: [00:04:10] Yeah. Yeah. Appreciate it. No, I, curiously, we’re a big dance family. Like all of our kids have grown up in dance, and that’s ballet, tap and hip hop. We’re in an incredible studio and so most of my daughters, four or five days a week are at the dance studio and they’re learning the art of dance. And really, for us, our kids like to serve with us. So when we do our cycling tours, when we go on short term mission trips, were generally taking at least one of our kids with us to serve, if not more, then each one. And so they all kind of get their their special moments to serve and to be part of what I was doing in our ministry. And I really got that from Bob Goff and his book, Love Does. He talked about a ten year old adventure that he would take his kids on. And so all five of our kids have been on their ten year old adventure and all five of them have been to nations and they serve the Lord. And we’re just so grateful that we get the opportunity to minister with our kids. And people generally compliment our family on that. They say, Wow, you’re literally raising your kids to be on mission every day. And we’re not naïve, like we don’t expect that all five of them will become missionaries, but we do expect that they’ll continue to live on mission wherever they live, work and play.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:05:27] Wow. And part of them living on mission is exposure, like that ten year old trip or like the other trips that you’ve taken them on. But part is they’re watching Dad. They’re watching you chase a mission that’s on the God’s put on your heart and just stick, stick with it. I’m going the long haul. I’m going after this mission. Help us understand a little bit and share with us a little bit about the mission that God has put on your heart that involves cycling and involves global youth ministry. Yeah, tell us more about it.

Justin Hanneken: [00:05:53] Thanks for that. So, Ends of the Earth Cycling, we’re a ministry of New International and we’re based out of Fort Myers. For the last 12 years, we’ve been hosting long distance Christ centered cycling tours. And so what that looks like is 5 to 7 days, 300 to 500 miles, and basically riding our bicycles on behalf of a youth ministry on the other side of the world. So we’re shining a spotlight, every ride, on a nation and our first and foremost mandate from the Lord is prayer. So it’s an intercessory prayer ride. We have different prayer themes for each day. We have different devotions that our global youth workers, our missionaries write for us. And secondly, it’s about advocacy, it’s about awareness, it’s about telling the story. It’s about like Proverbs 31 says, like speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves. And the third piece to that is fundraising. And so in the past 12 years, we’ve hosted 48 long distance Christ centered cycling tours, we’ve ridden in 36 states for 25 different nations. And year to date over, excuse me, when we started to date, over $1.1 million raised for youth ministries around the world. So, to God be the glory.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:03] So anyone on YouTube has seen me like freaking out because like I when I learned that that you guys passed last year, the million dollar mark of money raised and the impact, I mean, I was deeply impacted by my youth pastor who now serves full time over in Czech Republic, helping in another nation. They’re their youth ministry movement. So like I, I just my life has been changed by someone in that role, who came alongside, it wasn’t, you know, of course, I’m thankful for my mom and dad, but there’s something very as a gift when a youth pastor is just like, I’m all in and I’m here to invest and sew into your life. So, so I love your mission and I love that that we both have a mission that involves discipleship and cycling, but different size and shape and different lane as far as where the those dollars go, but so grateful for you. The next question I want to ask is just how like cycling and family, you said dance and then these trips, these ten year old trips, which I want to come back to in a moment. But is cycling is something that that your kids have joined on some of the long distance or not yet have a long distance cycling?

Justin Hanneken: [00:08:05] So they actually really enjoy being part of our support staff and our side team. So because our tours are fully supported, from a young age, they were used to getting out of the van every 3 to 5 miles and checking on our cyclists, ringing cowbells, encouraging them, filling up water bottles, given high fives, and because we raised them around that culture of service, so many of our cyclists have come up to me and they’re like, I just love talking to your kids. Like I love having conversation with your kids after the ride’s over and the fact that they can talk to adults and they know how to sit and have those conversations and it just it seems to really touch people’s hearts.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:41] Let’s talk a little bit more about this ten year old trip that was inspired by Bob Goff. So so when you set that up, are you choosing the location or are they how long are the trips usually? What are some of the things that you found or even coaching for me? My daughter’s going to turn ten here in six months. So, I’d love just to hear more of your heart and what you’ve learned through all five of your kids, their ten year old.

Justin Hanneken: [00:09:03] Yeah. Well, let me just maybe tell one story is from Gloria, our oldest, because she’s 16 now. But when she was preparing for her ten year old adventure, we came to her and we said, Hey, mom and dad have an idea of where we think we could take you. Do do you concur? Do you want to be part of this? And she prayed about it, and we got an opportunity to take her to India. We were doing a short term project in India that had a lot of children’s ministry components to it, youth ministry components. And our daughter, like I said, she had been in dance since she was about three years old. And so when we reached out to our partner in India, we said, Hey, we’re bringing this team, like, do you mind if we bring a kid with us as well? It’s Gloria, our daughter. And he said yeah, we’d love to have her. And what I found when I got her over there to India was that she could connect with Indian kids her same age, way better than I could as a 30, 35 year old guy. And so I actually watched God use my daughter and her love of dance as an open door to get us into schools. We actually did a lot of school assemblies, and she would be up on a stage in front of a thousand kids and she would dance and then she would share her testimony and I would interview her. We brought skateboarders with us. We brought B-boys with us. We brought this whole kind of like variety show, kind of like opportunity to, like, get kids excited in school assemblies, to share the gospel with kids. And through that experience, like my daughter got to see what does it look like to live your faith outside of the walls of the church? And for her, it wasn’t necessarily about India like because she’s now since then she’s gone to Thailand, she’s gone to Mexico, she’s gone to the Philippines, and she just has a heart beat for nations anyway. And so for us, it was like, you know, it’s an opportunity to kind of get her out there, get her exposed to it. And every one of my kids ten year old adventures has been different, but they’ve all kind of had that like, this is a ministry opportunity for you as a kid. And that’s one of my favorite parts about it.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:10:51] Was your wife on that trip? Does she usually come with or? 

Justin Hanneken: [00:10:54] She was on that trip, and sometimes she comes with, sometimes she doesn’t. She’s actually done multiple trips without me. And so her and I, we kind of take turns like, who’s going where, who’s staying home with the kids, but ultimately getting the kids involved as much as we can and as much as we can afford. That’s our that’s our desire.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:11:12] Yeah. And you said, I think this was eight or ten years ago, you thought your three daughters, you thought, hey, we’re grateful to be a family of five and then and then things changed. And I think there’s some of us listening, myself included, that like like my four daughters, I think probably the six of us Zauggs, like, that’s it, but yet I want to be open to you and curious on, God, do you have a different plan for growing our family forward? And what would you say to encourage or to challenge or just to help prepare us to having a heart of, man, this maybe, maybe adoption or maybe fostering is a part of the path, the unexpected path for some of us?

Justin Hanneken: [00:11:53] Yeah, I’d say to men, even from my own experience, listen to your wife, and if she brings it up, then there’s probably something going on there. Because my wife, she brought the idea to me. She saw some things going on in our extended family and she said, Hey, I think God’s speaking to me about this. And I was pretty cold to the idea and I was like, Man, God’s not speaking to me about that. And then pretty clearly He was like, Yes, I am, through your wife, you need to shut up and listen and be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry. And so I had to kind of come before the Lordand say, okay, Lord, are you really in this? Is this was happening? And another thing that really encouraged us was when we went to the powers that be to ask if this was possible, we got two nos super quick from my wife’s dad, he’s like the patriarch of the family. He said, No way, you guys travel too much, you’re not doing it, you’re not, the kids they’re not coming to you. We went to their dad and we asked him the same thing, he said, No. And my wife said, Well, I think we should fast for this. I think not only prayer, but I think we should fast as a family for seven days. And I was like, hold up, time out, like, what are you talking about? Like, you never you never want to fast. I’m like, What are you talking about? Our whole family, the kids at that time, our kids were like seven, five and two. And she goes, We’re going to do a seven day Daniel fast. We’re going to literally just just you know how it is like no meat, no sweets, it’s just veggies and fruit and water, you know? And at the end of two days, Jeff, her dad just randomly calls and he goes, I changed my mind, here’s my credit card book the flights, the kids are coming to you. And we were like, Yeah, but we have to talk with their dad and like, see if he’s down for it. So we call him, he’s like, Yeah, I changed my mind, the kids are coming to you. Like two days, bro, two days, 48 hours. And my wife’s like, You know, we need to keep the fast going, we’re going to go a full seven days, and we did. And and the kids have been with us for ten years.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:13:45] What would you share about the journey of just the different differences of, hey, you’ve since infants these are babies that were born at home versus they’re your kids, they call you mom and dad, but yet they’re adopted. What, yeah, what do you learn and how was it the similar and how is it so different?

Justin Hanneken: [00:14:06] People that have been through it, they’re not going to be surprised that what I’m about to say. I think it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done and it’s the most rewarding thing that we’ve ever done. And what I saw was I saw my three daughters embrace their cousins and love on them and show them you are family, you are wanted here. You can call auntie and uncle, Mom and Dad, it’s okay. That that came from our two year old saying to her cousin, Hey, that’s not auntie, that’s Mommy, you know, and things like that. And then just basically the idea that that the love of God can break any curse. That the love of God is the only thing that can break a generational curse. And so we kind of identified some of those curses and some of the tether and we went to some of our mentors and we just said, man, Would you just seek the Lord? Would you just say, God, on behalf of this precious son and this precious daughter? And both of them have trusted Christ. Both of them have been baptized. Both of them have have found their niche in the church and how they can serve and how they can live out their faith. And I look back on the last ten years and I just am in awe, I’m just like, God, I can’t believe you chose me. I can’t believe you allowed my wife the grace that He gave us, the grace to have two more come into our home and into our lives, into our midst. And from the moment we got them, we just started speaking blessing over them. We started saying to them, You’re going to change the world someday. Like we would just put them to bed and we would say, You’re going to change the world someday. And they’d be like, Yeah, I know, you told me last night. Man, we’re going to tell you again tomorrow. You’re going to change the world someday. And that was a spoken blessing that we felt like we needed to just sow over and over and over again to combat, maybe the lies that they heard or the things that they had seen or the things that that maybe had set them on a different path and a different trajectory in life.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:15:53] I think you said a moment ago, like you are loved, you’re welcome, you’re wanted. You’re like, you’re my son, you’re my daughter. And then you went into even other blessings like future, you’re blessing their future and their potential and I know this is a deep passion of yours, is the father’s blessing and that you’ve learned about through reading and learning, but also that you’ve lived into really blessing. It stirs me a deep level because I and I’m still learning about what does that look like to really bless and write out blessings and speak blessings? But I did ask my dad before he passed away three years ago, I asked him specifically, I said, Would you would you pray blessings over me? And I almost coached him on how to bless me as a at the time a 38 year old. But it was such a gift, even though I kind of asked him for it is still like the gift is massive. And your kids, my little girls are not asking me to bless them, but I think all of us dads can actually step in in a much more intentional, purposeful way. Would you coach me a little bit on what you’ve learned and how it’s played out, speaking blessings, writing blessings over your kids?

Justin Hanneken: [00:17:00] Yeah, I love the way that you just framed it with speaking and writing. And I think when we look back at the Old Testament and we look at the life of a Hebrew boy, his getting his dad’s blessing before his dad died was crucial to his life, to his faith, to the ethos of this, of his psyche and his family. And I feel like for us as Christian men, we are called it over and over in the scriptures to bless and not to curse, right. So, how do we curse our kids? Some of the men watching this podcast are like, Justin, Jeff, I’ve never cursed my kids Well, have you ever used the word always? Have you always used the word never? Have you ever said to your kids, you never do this right? Or you always mess up? Those two words actually become curses over our kids when when we speak this negativity toward them. And for me as a dad, I will I want to speak blessing over my kids because I recognize like my dad blessed me. And ever since he blessed me, he blessed me with some scriptures out of 1 John, Chapter two. My whole life changed when my dad spoke his blessing over me. Even my grandpa, my grandpa was the patriarch of our family. He was very Catholic and he got so mad at me when I got saved. He got so mad at me when I left the Catholic Church and I went and saw him, Jeff, two weeks before he died and I asked for his blessing. And he was on his deathbed, I mean, he was very sick. And he he told me, he said, Come here, come here. And I leaned in and he goes, Come closer. And I got real close to him and he said, You didn’t go the path that I wanted you to go for your life, but you went the path that God wanted you to go for your life. And when he spoke that he blessed me. And I just broke down in tears. And I was talking to him and I said, Pop, I just need to know, I just need to know if you’re saved. I need to know if I’m going to see you again, and he looked at me, I mean, this is two weeks before he dies and he said, Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior. I mean, this is this is a guy who literally, like three years prior, told me, don’t come in my house quoting scripture, don’t wear your Christian T-shirts around me, Don’t do this, don’t do that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, for whatever reason, before he died, you know, and some of the men watching this, Jeff, they might say, well, Justin, my dad doesn’t know the Lord or my or my dad has already passed away. And I just want to say to you, friend, do you have a spiritual father? Is there a man of God in your life that has mentor you, that maybe you could go to and you could ask him to bless you? And when when you see the father’s blessing come, countenance changes. I mean, everything. Just, you know, when you take because you and I both know, like, especially in youth ministry there, there’s so many kids out there that don’t have a dad that’s engaged in their life, don’t have a dad that’s engaged in their faith. And I think that as men of God we’re we’re called to be spiritual fathers, examples to these young men and speak blessing over them.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:19:42] So that’s that’s a little bit the upstream which is so helpful and kind of affirming the process I did with my dad that you did with your grandpa. Your dad, blessed you. Now the downstream, which maybe that’s even the wrong metaphor, but the way that we can come to our kids and just purposefully bring that blessing. Would you kind of elaborate on that side?

Justin Hanneken: [00:20:03] Yeah, absolutely. So in in one example, again, I’ll just talk about my daughter, Gloria, but when she goes to dance, I will literally say things to her as I’m dropping her off. Like I say, I bless you to shine Jesus’ light as you dance today. And she’ll go into competitions and stuff and the competition dance world is extremely dark. And I’ll just tell her, I’ll say I bless you that no weapons formed against you will prosper. I bless, I bless you that as you go out there on that stage, the people would see see Jesus and see the Holy Spirit in you and not you. And she would say, Thank you, Daddy, you know, thank you. It it’s not replacing prayer. Prayer is important. We’re called to pray always in every way and all types of prayers in the spirit. But to speak a blessing over them is kind of saying like, I’ve got your back. Like, as your dad, I’ve got your back. No matter how it goes. If my daughter walks away from that competition and she doesn’t win a single thing and she doesn’t get recognized for her dance, she still knows my earthly daddy, my lower case d, dad, he’s proud of me. He sees that I’m lovely. He he believes in me no matter what. And then when they do get recognized, I’m the dance dad in the front row, just weeping. Like bro, when my daughters get on the stage, I’m just wrecked, so.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:21:19] Oh, that’s incredible. And there there are, like, anchor moments before bedtime, it’s just like a great anchor moment. The drop off that you just mentioned is one. Can you think of any other like anchor moments that just would help remind us dads to speak a blessing there?

Justin Hanneken: [00:21:34] Yeah, I think the anchor moment for me is when someone when they’re willing to be transparent enough and open up and say so and so hurt me or this kid at school said this about me or, man, Dad, I’m really struggling in this area. What I’ve come to learn is, as a parent of five teenagers, I try to schedule those conversations. I try to say, Hey, can I take you out for a donut? My buddy, Pastor Brian Angle, you might know Brian, he’s up there in Milwaukee. He does donuts with Dad, every Friday, he takes his four girls for donuts, and he’s actually giving me the privilege of coming on one of those donuts for dads and just watching him and just seeing how he engages with his four daughters and the guy is incredible. And I try to schedule those with my kids and what I have found is they’re not the most fruitful times. The most fruitful times are the 10:00 on a Wednesday night when they come and they say, Hey, can I get a couple minutes of your time? Because it’s on their time table, they’re struggling with something and everything in my flesh, Jeff, wants to sit on the couch and watch pro cycling highlights because that’s just what I like to do to unwind before I go to bed. And a lot of times the Holy Spirit’s like shut off the TV, now is the moment, be fully present. It doesn’t matter if you got 4 hours of sleep last night, it doesn’t matter if you have to get up at four tomorrow morning. Now is the time. Now is the time to hear and engage. And when they say those things and they say, man, dad I had a really hard day today, such and such happened with so and so, then that’s the moment to come and speak life and speak blessing and recognize that maybe speaking of that blessing is coming at a right now moment to combat some of those curses that were spoken from this peer or this teacher or this person who didn’t believe in them. Hey, your father believes in you. I’m proud of you. 

Jeff Zaugg: [00:23:22] I love that expression of, now is the moment, like can we seize moments and be thankful for them versus grumble our way into those moments? For me, I mean, so often the unexpected, it’s the moment that I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m frustrated about something and this is both in marriage and in fatherhood. I think the moments, if I could have that perspective that you just said, this is it, this is one of those moments, I have the ability and privilege to speak a blessing and to like listen well first before, you know, jumping in like that’s I want to be better at that. And that’s a huge encouragement and challenge to me. One thing that I loved is when I asked you about doing this podcast interview, I asked you about your dad, and you said, Well, there was this chapter of him being my dad, which actually wasn’t like there was a lot of like not good. And then there was a chapter that changed, I think was 1999, if I have it correct. Let me see what you wrote first, though. I think it’s just so helpful. I’m just going to say what you wrote, you said my Jesus changed everything. And I’ll have you talk about the before and after in a moment. But you said Jesus changed everything. My dad now disciples, me, intercedes for me, prays for me daily, is the number one supporter for our ministry to God be the glory. And I’m like, Whoa, yes. Like when I read that, I was like, that’s like the best the best thing ever to learn about a friend is like, Wow, that’s your dad in your life. Would you talk a little bit about the before and after?

Justin Hanneken: [00:24:46] Thanks for that. Yeah, my dad’s name is Gary and he goes out on cruise ships as a chaplain, so he ministers to the crew on Royal Caribbean or Norwegian and he lives on cruise ships. He goes from cruise ship to cruise ship. He’s an evangelist and he just ministers nonstop. But back when I was like… 

Jeff Zaugg: [00:25:02] Oh, hold on, I’m going to interrupt you. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

Justin Hanneken: [00:25:05] Me neither. It’s still good.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:25:06] So does the cruise ship see the value in having a chaplain care for their thousand staff, or does he actually pay his own way to do that? Who sees the value?

Justin Hanneken: [00:25:15] He pays his own, he pays his own way. But on any given cruise ship, there are 60 nations represented on the cruise. 60 nations. So in a in a theater, it’s 7:00 at night, at 9:00 at night, there’s these amazing shows that go on at Broadway. What most people don’t know is at midnight when the crew gets off work, they’re in there having church with my dad and my dad’s ministering to them. And the Filipinos get up and they lead worship and they go until three and four in the morning and they see miracles all the time. They see healings happen. I mean, my dad, just because a lot of these crew, bro, you know, they’re away from their family for 3 to 4, six months at a time and they’re lost and they’re hurting and they’re lonely and they reach out and do evangelism amongst the other crew members and they say, Hey, when you get off tonight, come to church with us at midnight. And my dad, he he calls me nonstop with testimonies. But the crazy part is like he wasn’t always that way. So when I was ten years old, I actually my dad cheated on my mom and he decided that he didn’t want to have a relationship with her. And I literally just was I had so much hatred in my heart for my dad. So my whole formative teenage years, I chose not to have my dad around my life very much. He he would offer to take us to amusement parks. He wanted to be involved in our lives. But I had so much hatred toward him that I wouldn’t, as a teen, I was just a real jerk and I wouldn’t allow him really to be a good dad. And he kept trying. And in 1999, I got saved. I came to Jesus as a high school senior. And unbeknownst to me, that same year, my dad also got saved on June 23rd, 1999. He gave his life to Jesus. And as we started to reconnect, I wanted to witness to him. Really, I wanted to show him that Jesus had made a difference in my life, and he wanted to tell me about Jesus and God just for for His own glory, brought both of us to his Son in the same season, just months apart. I actually baptized my dad and my dad in as I was a college student, took me into his house, he discipled me, he allowed me to live with him. We restarted our relationship, our friendship, and he’s the number one intercessor in my life, in our family. He texts me prayers almost every single day, what he’s praying for me. He sends me scriptures nonstop. And he’s he’s just an awesome inspiration and just a wild man for Jesus.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:27:36] And the hope that that testimony brings to all of us, because, I mean, we we stumble and sometimes in ways that sever relationships for a chapter and sometimes, you know, in smaller ways, but we’re stumbling, none of us are perfect dads. And to know that, look what God did on, like, trust was broken. You’re going this way, but look, look what God can do. I, I love that story. And I’m so grateful to hear.

Justin Hanneken: [00:28:02] Amen. 

Jeff Zaugg: [00:28:03] You guys use this phrase pray, pedal, repeat. Pray, pedal, repeat. Did I get that right? The phrase.

Justin Hanneken: [00:28:11] It’s so good. That’s our hashtag.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:28:13] Yeah and I gather that from all of our conversations is that it’s prayer, first, like you guys are prayerful, you’re interceding as you as you do these tours, like prayer is so core, but then you are pedaling. It’s hard. It’s hard day after day. I don’t know anything about long distance bike rides. I just one day and then I’m done and I quit, I quit biking for a month after every time I do a century right. Then, but then repeat, I feel like there’s a little bit of a dad parallel to pray, pedal, repeat. And I didn’t prep you on this, but would you just kind of elaborate on those three things and how they could impact a dad who who chooses to pray, pedal and repeat?

Justin Hanneken: [00:28:53] Yeah, my dad, he prays for us daily. And so I feel a certain compulsion to pray for my kids daily. And my pastor, Chad Woolf at Christ Community Church. He always reminds us, like regularly, one of his favorite statements is he says, Prayer is our first work. Prayer is our first work. And so basically, as Christians, like, we want to serve the Lord, we want to do things for God. But a lot of times we just jump right into those things and we haven’t spent time in prayer. And so for dads that are listening, I just want to encourage you, pray for your family daily, pray for your your family by name. For me, that doesn’t happen at the same time as many, many people it would, it actually a lot of times happens in the middle of the night. And so for whatever reason, I deal with some insomnia. I’ll wake up, I’ll go to sleep, I’ll wake up 2 hours later and I’ll literally just pray for my kids and I pray until I fall back asleep. I’ll pray for each one by name. I’ll speak blessing over them by name. And then for me, it’s a you do it one day and then you don’t stop. You wake up again and you do it again, Right. And then that’s the whole piece I think of the repeating is that what if our kids were always covered in prayer, by us, as dads. What if we had some type of unction from the Holy Spirit of how to pray for our kids? I think back to my Fathers for the Fatherless century opportunity in August, when I rode with you guys, there was like we was maybe the fourth or fifth rest stop, I remember you were not going to let a single person out of that lot before you prayed for them. You had each group pull up, you’d say, yellow come on in, and you were in the megaphone praying over yellow, you know, like, camo, Come on in. And I’m camo, Right, so I roll up, I’m like, Yeah, it’s our turn to get prayed for, let’s go. And there was nobody you weren’t going to let go until you prayed over them. And that spoke so much to me and I think as dads some of us have one child, we can pray hard for that one. Some of us have three and four and five and so on and so forth. What if, as dads, we just walked in, walked in that that prayer piece all the time. Always praying over our kids, no matter whether we thought whether they’re doing well, they don’t really need you to pray. True. Yes, they do. Come on, let’s pray.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:31:09] I love it. And it actually like it gets compounded into the other two, because when you say pedal, it’s just like, let’s just do the hard thing. Let’s be willing to do the hard thing whether it’s the I’m not getting much sleep tonight’s the hard thing. I’m going to just do it with prayer. I’m going to do the hard thing, even if it’s mundane, I’m going to do the hard thing. We need to be dads who do the hard things. So that’s we’re pedaling actually, I feel like kind of is a great practice zone for fatherhood. And then the repeat concept is just like, well, you said it already. Every day. Every day, everyday let’s let’s be dads who who don’t get tired of a repetitive process because the repetitive, repeating is what brings it into our us, like, it makes us own it to deeper levels. But it also that’s where the impact comes, just to keep sowing. Keep sowing seeds, keep, keep, like we don’t see the short term right? We don’t see it. So yeah, anything else you add to that? That’s just me kind of riffing on your statement, pray, pedal, repeat.

Justin Hanneken: [00:32:02] No, I think you were spot on. I think the repeat piece for a lot of men that I know, they know the repeat piece. They’re 9 to 5 or 7 to 3 and that grinding it out at work, to me, that’s the piece where like my friend Chris, for over 20 years he’s been a male handler at USCS and the guy is one of the hardest working guys I know. But he literally goes to work every single day and does the exact same tasks for 20 years and nothing ever changes. And he gets out of work and he’s tired and he says, Man, listen, he says, I got a one year old and a three year old, you need to hold me accountable that when I get home, they are my top priority, that I need to spend time with them, that I need to get down on the floor and roll around. And to the men that are there, if you’re if you’re listening to that and you’re like and you know, my wife is a stay at home mom and she does this and that. I can just speak to that,15 years my wife stayed home with our kids and a lot of times I would come home and they would just be like, Daddy, like I’m this big, great hero, right? But she’s the one that’s been killing it for 8 hours. She’s the one that, for the last 10 hours has been cleaning the house, cooking, homeschooling. And some of the best ways that I’ve honored her is when she’s like, Hey, I just need an hour, I’m going to run out and get coffee, I’ll be back in an hour. That never made sense to me. I never got that. And then one time I finally got it and I was like, Oh, shoot. And I would literally say to her, You should get your nails done while you’re out. You should you should go treat yourself while you’re out, you know? And I don’t know if that went a little bit off topic, but I think as men, we we get that repeat piece and that can become so like the things I’m repeating are terrible. But what if like spiritual disciplines came into our repeat, right. Like and we were just like, yeah man, like it’s been a minute since I’ve fasted. I need a fast, you know, I need to do this, I need to do that. So yeah.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:33:51] That actually does bring me back to where I wanted to land this conversation is back to fasting and how the miracle of two no’s from Grandpa and from their birth dad two no’s flip because of a seven day Daniel Fast. And I just feel like all of us need to be encouraged. Hey, press in more with prayer and add the fasting part to prayer to see if that maybe a breakthrough is there in an area that sacrifice comes first before breakthrough. Talk about fasting and and just encourage all of us to take at least a step in this area of trusting God with with fasting.

Justin Hanneken: [00:34:28] Yeah. I just want to say to all the dads listening, if you’re a follower of Jesus, he says in the New Testament, when you fast and then He talks about what we should do. It’s not assumed, It’s not if you fast, it’s basically assume that if you’re Christian, fasting is going to be part of what you do. And so then I would take you and just encourage you with Isaiah 58, just encourage you that that there’s a certain type of fast that the Lord delights in, that we share our bread with the hungry, that we we give up some things in order to be a blessing to other people. And I think a lot of times like the church doesn’t seem to talk a whole lot about fasting. But in our family we see so much breakthrough when we fasted, when we press into the Lord. And for me, it’s just got to be a regular part of our routine. And I think back to our season of youth ministry, I was a youth pastor for eight years and people asked me all the time, they say, Man, what was it like being a youth pastor? What was the most impactful thing you ever did with students? And I just tell them, I say it was it was a 30 hour famine when we had students give up food for 30 hours, a come together, it wasn’t just a big lock in. We would go serve the least of these. We would go to nursing homes and literally play bingo and board games with the residents, we were paint their nails, we would do free car washes. And basically what we were doing was we were saying to these students, many of whom did not follow Jesus, many of whom were not even part of our youth group, and they would come and they would say, I want to do this 30 hour famine. And I would just say, why? And they, wow, we got to help these people. We got to help these kids in Africa. Every one of them was looking for for some reason to do something hard. And we were doing it in Jesus name. And so many of those kids, they would have the most amazing time and then in the 29th hour, one hour before we’re going to have communion and break the fast, we would have a worship service and we would have kids that we never met before come to the altar and they would be they would be on their knees crying out to God, because for the first time in many of their lives, they they chose to starve themself. They chose to become hungry. They chose to physically give up something accessible to them like food. And it actually revealed a spiritual hunger that many of them didn’t even know that they had. And so for me, I just want to encourage any of the dads list. And maybe for you, it’s food, maybe for you, it’s coffee, maybe for you, it’s video games or a season without Spotify or one of my favorite fast to do,Jeff, I know you can speak to this because you’re you’re not addicted to social media like I am, but 40 days Facebook fast, revolutionary. I literally delete the app off my phone. I tell my followers, Hey, I’ll see you in 40 days. It’s become an idol to me. I’ve been doomscrolling. I feel convicted. I’m done. I’m done with Facebook for the next 40 days. And some of the men listening are like, Man, you have no idea, like, I need Facebook for my business. But no, you don’t find somebody else to run it for you. Give it up for 40 days. See how much more time you have with your kids come out, see how much clearer your head space is, See how much healthier you feel when you fast from Facebook for 40 days, right. And I just want to say to like, I’m not I’m not telling anybody you have to do this, I’m just saying it’s worked for me.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:37:36] Justin, this conversation, I mean, we’ve hit a lot of different angles, but so practical and so like, I mean, whether it’s the challenge of fasting, whether it’s the planning that ten year old trip, whether it’s the pursuing a dad or a dad figure for that blessing or, you know, bringing blessing, speaking them out over our kids, we’ve we’ve hit a bunch of topics. Thank you for this conversation. I wanted to ask, would you say a prayer over me and over all the dads who are listening?

Justin Hanneken: [00:38:01] Yeah. And I appreciate you allowing me to just briefly touch on all of my passions. Like you literally allowed me to talk about my passion as a dad. It’s like it’s like when I when I tell people what we do and I start talking about these things, especially on airplanes, because you have a captive audience on airplanes, I literally walk away and I just say, Thank you God, that I even get to do what I get to do. It doesn’t even sound real when I talk about it. It literally sounds like a fairy tale. It sounds like there’s no way this guy’s telling the truth, like he gets to do all these things. And so, Father, I just thank you in Jesus name, for your goodness and your grace. I thank you for Jeff. I thank you for his family. I thank you for the vision that you have given him to equip and to resource dads. I thank you for his four daughters God and we bless him as he blesses them. God, I thank you that he’s a man of God. I thank you that he stands on your word. I thank you that he is a servant God, that he is willing to go and do what you called him to do in any situation for such a time as this. I pray you continue to speak to him. I pray for any dad listening that has never blessed their kids, that they would have the words from you, that they would be brave. I pray for any dad who has maybe curse their kids or curse their family or use words like always and never in a negative way. I pray that you would give them an unction and the boldness to repent to you and to go back to their kids and say, Hey, as a dad, I’m sorry I messed up. I pray for any dad who’s struggling right now who feels like they can’t keep their head above water, maybe they’re raising teenagers, would you just let them know that they’re not alone? Would you just let them know that you are in the fight with them and you have brothers coming alongside of them, men like Jeff, willing to pray for them, willing to intercede on their behalf, willing to fast on their behalf? God, would you just do a great work in the lives of the men that are listening? And would you let them know that you are proud of them, that their Heavenly Father has a plan and that you are going to work everything out for their good and for your glory in Christ Jesus. In His name I pray, amen.

Jeff Zaugg: [00:40:14] Thank you so much for joining us this week for dadAWESOME, Episode number 275, this conversation with Justin Hanneken. Guys, the show notes, the transcript, the links for this week’s conversation are all at dadAWESOME.org/275. As I mentioned in the introduction, join our Fathers for the Fatherless 100 mile bike ride. Would love to have you guys prayerfully consider joining us. Sign up by the end of April to save, I think it’s 15 bucks on your registration, f4f.bike is the website. F the letter F, number 4, the letter F, dot bike, where you refer to the ride Fathers for the Fatherless is a mouthful, we refer to the ride as f4f. So join our team, we’d love to have you on the team. Thank you for listening this week. Thank you for being dadAWESOME for your family. I’m cheering for you guys. I’m praying for you guys. Have a great week.