[AUDIO PODCAST] Choosing Christ Through Doubt & Fear: Bear Grylls & Rhonda Vincent

[AUDIO PODCAST] Choosing Christ Through Doubt & Fear: Bear Grylls & Rhonda Vincent


Choosing Christ Through Doubt & Fear: Bear
Grylls & Rhonda Vincent The farther we get into our faith journeys,
the more difficult and complex they seem to be. Obstacles block our paths, daylight dims and
the road grows hard to see. But after a while in the dark, the light of
dawns breaks through the night, warming the world and showing the way forward. God’s love is that light for our paths,
and our guests this week—adventurer Bear Grylls and musician Rhonda Vincent—remind
us that even when challenges barrage our faith, we can choose to stay on the road and follow
the path He laid for us. Bear Grylls: I’ve learned with fear, don’t
run from it. And again, the message of Christ was always
about, “I’m there in the difficult times. In your pain, I’m there.” I try and remember that. And despite the doubts and the fears, I try
and hold on to that. And that’s the journey of life. Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Our guest for this episode reflect on the
circumstances of their lives that have challenged their faith, and how, after many years and
many journeys, they continue to choose to follow Christ: adventurer Bear Grylls and
bluegrass musician Rhonda Vincent. First up, we’ve watched Bear Grylls as he’s
made his way up mountains, explored underwater, and foraged through jungles on his TV show
Man vs. Wild. Bear loves spending time in the world God
created, but today we learn a little about the faith that gives him Soul Fuel, which
happens to be the title of his latest book. Bear shares how Jesus’ love and grace give
him strength for the road ahead, and why he wants to help his three boys with their own
spiritual journeys. Bear Grylls: I’m Bear Grylls, former soldier,
Everest climber, host of Man vs. Wild and Running Wild, father, husband. And I guess, yeah, an adventurer. I started off my life with a really simple
faith that was bombproof. I knew there was this presence around me that
was good. And I think life has tried to beat that out
of me, in a way. I think the journey has been trying to strip
the religion side of it out, you know, [like] the words and kind of the rules and the customs
and all of this, and actually say we’re on a journey of life. We’re real and raw, and broken, and a mess
most of the time. But the great message of grace is that through
all of that, somehow despite ourselves, despite our fallenness, we’re actually still held,
and we’re still forgiven.[a] And this universe of presence and the message of Christ [says]
that, “I love you despite all of your stuff.” If I ever sense the presence of God, it’s
actually in relationships,[b] in the touch of one of my children’s hand on my head when
I’m nervous before going away, and they want to just put a hand on my shoulder. You know, those points of connection. I kind of never meant Soul Fuel to be published. It was sort of written as something I wanted
to do for our three boys, for them to be able to have in their life beside the bed that
they [could] read quickly at the start of the day and it [would] help them. I said, “I’m going to write this over a
year, one a day, and I’m going to collect 365 great short bits that can help your day.” And so I literally started at the start of
the year, and obviously a lot of those days were up a mountain, or in a jungle, or on
an airplane, or battling through some desert, you know. So wherever I was, I’d write it on the iPhone. And at the end of the year, [I said to myself],
“Actually, this is kind of . . . this is hopefully going to be good.” The journey of faith can be sort of a difficult
one to navigate.[c] You know, look at the great heroes of the
Bible. It’s always is a battle after battle after
battle. Life is hard, and we all face storms, and
there is no guarantees. It’s not like faith suddenly makes everything
okay. But all I know from experience [is] in the
hard times, I look back on where I’ve lost people close to me, or we’ve had things go
really wrong up mountains, [and] somehow I look back and I feel there was a presence
often there. And that’s all I want Soul Fuel to be, is
a daily thing for people to be to be able to say, “Listen, today’s probably going to
be hard for you, if you’re like any other human being. But this hopefully will help you [to get]
through it and to know He’s beside you.” I do think the outdoors is a healing place
because it’s natural, and it doesn’t ask anything of you, and it’s unjudging. And that’s why I think Running Wild has been
so empowering for so many guests is that it’s space and time, and you sit ’round the fire
and [we go] go deep, and I like that. So it’s no surprise to hear the outdoors,
and fresh air, and exertion, and effort ,and risk, and fear, walking through those things
is empowering for people. At the same time, I’m not going to sit here
and say that, you know, I climb a mountain and I feel the presence of God—because the
truth is it’s not always like that. I’m not going to say, “When I was on the
top of Everest, it’s all clear and it’s all okay,” because those are . . . the moments
you think would be the greatest triumphs have often be in my places of real doubt and struggle. [d] Faith at its heart is to say, “I’ll pick you
up when you’re broken, and I love you, and you’re forgiven. Here is home, and here is strength, and here
is peace. Let’s do this journey of life together.” [In my life], I have many doubts and many
struggles, and I question my faith most days. But somehow through the fog of being a human
being, I choose to trust in this message of grace and this message of love. [e] Narrator: You can find Bear’s new book Soul
Fuel at your favorite book retailer today. Narrator: Stay tuned for our next interview
with bluegrass artist Rhonda Vincent after this brief message. Narrator: From the time she was little, Rhonda
Vincent had a few constants in her life: family, music, and faith. Today, the talented bluegrass singer, songwriter,
and musician tells us about growing up in her very musical family, some of the blessings
and miracles God’s given her along the way, and how His love has shaped her through it
all. Rhonda Vincent: I’m Rhonda Vincent. I have the blessing of singing and playing
the music I love: bluegrass music, country, and gospel music and travelling all over the
world. I come from a very tiny town: Greentop, Missouri. Growing up, I think the population was 350. I think we’re up to 450 now. Greentop, you might say, where is Greentop,
Missouri? It’s at the very top of Missouri in the heart
of America. There isn’t any Interstate or mall within
at least a hundred miles of there. And Kirksville, where I live now, that was
the city where they had a prototype for the Super Walmart that was open 24 hours because
they figured if they could make it in Kirksville, Missouri, it would work anywhere. Music is traced back five generations in the
Vincent family. I started singing when I was three, [and]
the first documentation [of my singing] is when I was five years old. Even now, my daughter’s carrying on the tradition. So there’s a sixth generation now. On my sixth birthday, my dad got me a snare
drum, a stand, and a set of brushes. And I became the drummer for The Sally Mountain
Show, which was made up of my Grandpa Bill, and Uncle Pearl, Aunt Catherine, cousins Joe
and Ricky, Mom and Dad. There was Boyd Halford, and Phil Baker, and
Al White, and Jack Heron. Our first album cover has all of those people
on there. [from] 1967, and I got to sing two songs on
that. At my grandparents’ house, which was just
one house away, there was a music party every night. And people say, “Oh, you’re exaggerating.” No. They loved music so much that friends came
over every night. It’s a way of life. It’s something we’ve always done. So it was just a constant life of music, you
know, whether it was after school, just Dad and I, or Grandpa and I, or a music party
every night. [I had a] very concentrated life of music. Now that I look back on it, the reason [my
dad] had this love for the music was when I was two, my father had a car wreck, broke
his neck, [and he wasn’t] expected to live. They let him actually lay in the hospital—hey
didn’t even clean him up for a week—he laid in glass from the wreck. They basically laid him there because his
was 1964. They took a piece out of his hip, fused his
neck together. We saw an X-Ray [of his neck] one time, and
it looked like—I mean, to the day he died, two places on his neck looked like they had
just taken a bread wrapper tie [and twisted it, and] that was holding his neck together. He said, “Lord, if you’ll just give me one
good leg, I’ll drag the other one.” And that’s exactly what happened. He ended up walking with a cane. He would drag his right leg, and [the toe
of his shoe] was always completely worn out. But you know, his faith is what brought him
through that. He couldn’t run after us, so he kept us within
arm’s length. That’s why I think he picked me up from school
[and was around to play], have dinner, [to watch us when] friends came over. He always knew where we were, and he couldn’t
run after us. So I think that’s when music became even more
of a larger focus for him. We were always in church. We lived a block away from the church. I got a Perfect [Attendance] Pin from being
in Sunday School the first six years of my life. And from that on then on, we only went to
church in the night. But we always attended church on Sunday night. We always sang a special. My great-grandmother Ethel Souter, she always
had her Bible. It was marked up and it was frayed, because
she read her Bible every day. So when you come in and you see that, it was
a wonderful influence keeping you on the right path, but also teaching you. I have seen so many blessings and miracles
that God has given us. [f] For example, in 2005 I had a life-threatening
illness. We were on tour and every hospital I would
go to . . . when they don’t know you, they think you’re just trying to get pain pills
or something. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. I went from Denver, to Nashville, to Ohio,
all through five different hospitals. And I finally said, “Take me home.” I had E.coli, which had destroyed seven inches
of my large intestine that had to be removed by surgery. God brought me through all of that. I sincerely thought I was gonna die. The pain was so intense on that last trip
home. We were several many hours away from home,
and I had already resorted to the fact that I was probably going to die. The pain was unbearable. Not only did God bring me through that, but
when I got out of the hospital in Kirksville, Missouri, Dolly Parton[g] was standing in
my living room. And she said, “I had to come make sure you
were okay myself.” I mean, she’s such a special lady, and that’s
just another one of the incredible blessings, that we’ve been blessed with opportunity . . . I could not even dream. I would never think, number one, that I would
get to meet Dolly Parton, let alone to come home from the hospital and there she is. I mean, I was just moved to tears that she
would take the time to travel 500+ miles from Nashville to Kirksville, Missouri. She even went by the the Greentop, Missouri,
sign and got a picture. We were driving up to see my dad because he
didn’t make it down there. And we go to Greentop, and she goes, “Pull
the car over! Pull the car over!” And she got out right by the Greentop sign,
held her hand up, and took a picture. And as they’re driving by, people are calling
around saying, “I think I just saw Dolly in Greentop, Missouri!” And people are going, “No way. Dolly wouldn’t be here. She wouldn’t be in Greentop, Missouri.” But she actually was there, and she made quite
a stir—she made the paper too, by the way, with her picture by the Greentop sign. But she’s a special lady, and just another
way that you see so many miracles in our life and opportunities. [You] just always keeping that faith, I guess. You have to seek Him. Narrator: After someone gave Rhonda a copy
of Jesus Calling, she found a new way to seek God in peace and stillness. To encourage others on their walk, she reads
the April 20th entry of Jesus Calling. Rhonda Vincent: Do not be afraid, for I am
with you. Hear Me saying, “Peace, be still,” to
your restless heart. No matter what happens, I will never leave
you or forsake you. Let this assurance soak into your mind and
heart until you overflow with Joy. Though the earth give way and the mountains
fall into the heart of the sea, you need not fear! The media relentlessly proclaim bad news:
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A steady diet of their fare will sicken you. Instead of focusing on fickle, ever-changing
news broadcasts, tune in to the living Word—the One who is always the same. Let Scripture saturate your mind and heart,
and you will walk steadily along the path of LIfe. Even though you don’t know what will happen
tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of your ultimate destination. I hold you by your right hand, and afterward
I will take you into Glory. I am so thankful that I have that faith, and
I got to have the Bible as a guide and as a road map of life.[h] Well we have it’s a new project [called] Live
at the Ryman with Bluegrass Legends. It was filmed and recorded live at the Ryman
Auditorium. I’ve never done a project like this or to
this degree—[there are] just so many elements to this project. It was with bluegrass legends, people who
are dear friends I grew up listening. They are pioneers in bluegrass music, o to
have them come and get to share an evening with them at the Ryman, that was special in
itself. We decided to film and record it, and it’s
just everything I had hoped it would be. Sonny Osborn had not performed with his brother
in over 10 years. And he was not an expected guest. So I talked to Bobby—his brother Bobby Osborn,
who sang Rocky Top, and so he was scheduled to be there. Jesse McReynolds of Jim and Jesse was scheduled
to be there. Those were both Opry stars. [And also] Mac Wiseman. I got to sing with the Osbourn Brothers. They are the group my family tried to emulate. They are the greatest influence on my music
and on my family’s music, so to call them friends, it’s still . . . I have to pinch
myself. It’s like, “oh my goodness.” Bobby will send me a note and say, “How’s
my little all-American bluegrass girl?” It’s like, “Ahh!” Melts my heart. So I love the connections that that music
brings.[i] That’s one of my favorite things about the music business: different genres. I mean, from Alan Jackson—I sang on several
of his songs. There was song: “Where I Come From there’s
cornbread and chicken.” [So] Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton. Keith Urban sang “The Water Is White” on one
of my projects. Alison Krauss, she and I grew up together. There’s so many. Martina McBride, Faith Hill. Most recently, we were blessed with a number-one
song. It’s part of the Elton John, Bernie Taupin—it’s
a collaboration [and] tribute CD commemorating their 50 years of musical collaboration. It’s a duet with Dolly. You just never know where God is going lead
you in that path. Who would think that we would be friends with
Bernie Taupin? And then I got a beautiful letter from Elton
John, a gold embossed letter from him. Who knew he was a bluegrass fan? He loves bluegrass music and has come to our
shows. Usually if he’s close by, he’ll be at our
show, and he’s become a dear friend. We meet everyone after every show, so it’s
like an experience. You hear the show, we get to talk to you afterwards. Many are friends, and they stay in touch. Now with social media, we stay in touch well
beyond the show. We have a song called “His Promised Land”
that I wrote. It’s an a cappella gospel song, and so many
times, [people will say to me], “We played this at my father’s [funeral].” I’m just a kid from Greentop, Missouri. I’m just out here playing music I like. I did not realize the responsibility . . . [When
you’re an artist] there becomes a responsibility and expectation to make sure, number one,
that you are representing yourself [well. I think], How does God perceive me? [j]Am I perceiving this in a good way? Would He be proud of me for doing this? And knowing the songs you’re doing are influencing
people . . . to have this guy say, “I literally had the gun to my head. And your song came on, and I put the gun down.” I mean, that’s really powerful to know that. I mean, obviously, I had nothing to do with
that. That had to be God interceding in that. Because that guy? I’ve known him now for years, and he still
stays in touch. In fact, I bought him a car once. He couldn’t get to the show, and I said to
the guys, “Hey, let’s go out and buy him a car today.” And so when he came to the show, I brought
him on stage and presented him with a new [to him] car. I love that we are so blessed, and we get
to share that blessing with so many, whether it’s in a song or in whatever respect it is. Narrator: To hear more of Rhonda’s music
and to find out about her latest projects and shows, please visit her website at rhondavincent.com. Narrator: If you’d like to hear more stories
about people whose faith has been tested, but continue to follow Christ, check out our
interviews with Devon Still and Keni Thomas. Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast,
we talk with Christian music artist Anthony Evans. Growing up as the son of pastor Tony Evans,
Anthony struggled to find a place where he could be uniquely used by God. He shares how encouragement from his parents
gave him the freedom to pursue his own calling. Anthony Evans: So there was a lot of pressure
undue. My dad never told me, “I want you to be
a preacher.” My mom never said, “I want you to one day
be a singer.” There was none of that. It was, “Anthony, find your voice. Anthony, we want you to choose faith over
fear, knowing that God will work all things together for your good.” So I’ve always been challenged to move outside
of that, and that is where I found my voice.

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