In this episode, I talk with Jason Dobbs-Hyer. Jason shares his love of Jesus as a source of inspiration for his servant leadership. He has overcome great obstacles and continues to stay positive, thankful, and motivated to help others despite his personal circumstances. We talked about how Jesus washed his disciples feet and although our world does not care about servant leadership, it is the best way to find ourselves. We talk about how power, control, and money are leading the world but servant leadership, like what Jesus did, is a way to “park the ego” and you indescribably benefit from seeing others shine and putting others first. He explains that it’s an act of power to be humble, which is not easy, but it allows God to transform your own heart. As he says, “You become who you are in servant leadership, and you become more comfortable and at peace with who you are, and that allows you to lift others up.”
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Jason is a health, healing, and wellness minister, fitness trainer, nutritional specialist, professional life and business development coach, and inspirational speaker with a sincere passion for fitness, health, spirituality and wellness. He is driven to make a positive difference in the lives of others by empowering individuals to pursue healthy, active, and meaningful lifestyles.
He is the founder and Chief Inspirational Officer of JDH Ministries. His mission is to educate, inspire, and empower individuals to live a life of complete wellness while helping them fulfill their highest potential for God through Biblical-based wellness counseling/coaching. He is also the founder of JDH Wellness and in the process of building Inspirit Life Ministries.
Underlying his wellness philosophy is the belief that our hearts, minds, bodies, souls, and spirits are gifts from God to be honored and respected and are meaningfully and positively transformed when we invite the Spirit of Christ into our lives and choose to live a Christ-centered life. Prior to becoming a health, healing and wellness professional, he served honorably in the U.S. Marines and spent seven years in college earning a bachelor and two master’s degrees. He graduated from Boston College with a dual master’s degree in counseling and religious education and pastoral ministry, with a concentration in children, youth and families, and earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling from the University of Bridgeport.
As a dedicated life-long learner and leader in his respective fields, he has earned several certifications in the field of wellness. He is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM-CPT), certified as a wellness coach through the National Exercise Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), certified as a USA Cycling Coach, and has earned certifications as a Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) and Youth Nutrition Specialist (YNS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association in the past.
He brings a unique approach to fitness, health and wellness management with his extensive life experience, diversified knowledge base, and ability to live the process through servant leadership. He has an unwavering belief that without our health we are not capable of contributing fully to our world and will have a compromised quality of life. His main area of expertise in counseling/coaching is in servant leadership. He lives the daily process of a healthy lifestyle and this enables and qualifies him to inspire individuals to accomplish their goals by identifying negative patterns of living which rob them of everyday greatness.
He also helps individuals discover their God-given talents while empowering them to make choices that end up being healthy for them, their families and the community. As an agent of positive change and purposeful living, his life’s mission is to promote the health and welfare of society by inviting God into the process. His passions range from exploring and learning about fitness, health and wellness, to politics, philosophy, and spirituality. He is an avid outdoorsman who profoundly enjoys road cycling and mountain biking, as well as warm and cold weather hiking.
Currently, he reside in Millis, Ma with his son, Isaac (IDH).
His life’s vision is to do what I can, when I can, for who I can, with what I have. To him, this is success!!
His signature taglines :
Experience your life on a higher level!
Your quality of life. Simply better!
Just put a positive ‘spin’ on life.
Life is an open road. Just ride your ride!
You Deserve 5-Star Health
If you’d like to give to Jason’s favorite charity, please give to the Wounded Warrior Project.
For more information on JDH ministries, visit his website here.
JK: Welcome to the You Are A Philanthropist podcast. I’m here with Jason Dobbs Higher. Jason is the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of JDH Ministries, a former Marine and father of a teenage boy.
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JK: Jason, thank you for being here.
JDH: Oh, it’s my honor. Thanks, Jenn, for the invite. I’m humbled and grateful. I’m not really sure why you chose me. But hopefully, your audience will get some value out of some of the words that we share. And if it touches one life, and it’s definitely worth the time. So thank you for the consideration and invite. It’s a blessing to spend part of our afternoon together.
JK: Yeah. So that’s a great question about why you are here today. And we don’t know each other very well. But we are connected on Facebook.
JDH: Come on, social media.
JK: Well, we know each other very well through social media.
JK: And what I know about you is that you’re a very positive person. And I’ve had other podcast guests beyond here because they’re also very positive. And we’ve talked about in the past, for example, with Paul, how important optimism and enthusiasm and positivity is to being a philanthropist, a lover of mankind. Can you tell me about your inspiration for putting that positive energy into the world?
JDH: Well, typically, I can’t speak for everyone, but typically it takes negative experiences to have a kind of consciousness woke moment. And for me, it was about 23 years ago. And I used to live a very simple life, doing lots of things I shouldn’t have been doing and going down a wrong road and kind of taking advantage of all the insecurities that I faced. But back in ’98, I believe it was, I was given one year to live for all the bad lifestyle choices kind of catching up with. And my cardiologist [inaudible] one year to live. And it was at that moment that I decided, “Okay. I had [inaudible] Jesus [inaudible],” literally in an elevator in East Orange at the VA hospital, I had gone back and forth to the medical clinics and just kind of gave up on the medical institution. And God just spoke to my heart and told me to turn around. So that was a starting point. That was the impetus for kind of the journey. But it really accelerated 14 and a half years ago when my son’s mother left me. And so that kind of forced me to grab my Bible. And one of the best things I did is, during our separation and divorce period, I read from Genesis I to Revelations 22. And that period really transformed my heart, and I decided to give over my life for God and to start working on the things that were broken that my ex-wife felt that she needed to leave me for.
JDH: So that started a rehabilitation process, and that was about 14 and a half years ago. So I just decided at that point that it just felt better to lift people up. And selfishly, by doing that, I actually felt better about myself. So it was part of my selfish need to grow and to manifest. But the more I kind of made that a habit, the more I was like, “I’m comfortable in who God is allowing me to become now. And now it feels good to do this.” And the habit stuck 14 and a half years later, and here we are. So that to me, and having the duality of living a former life of sin and you name it, we can go into it if you’d like, and then seeing them the ways of God and the good life, the phrase I refer to is, “All things good.” And that’s kind of how I see every day is waking up. And my formula now is pretty much fourfold. When I get out of bed every morning, and I thank God for my pulse because I had a year to live 23 years ago for my pulse and my breath. And then I basically get up with a fourfold process. “God,” when I ask Him after I thank them, “Where do you want me to go today? What do you want me to do? Who do you want me to share an uplifting message with? And what do you want me to say?” I have not missed a day doing that, and I can’t even remember.
JDH: That is my blueprint of the day. Every day I get up, and I let God’s spirit guide me through the day. I listen for His voice, which I think is the most critical thing that happened. That happened way back in East Orange. I literally heard an audible voice. I’m not a drug– I don’t use drugs and do any kind of– but I heard a voice that day and God said, “It’s time to go to work.” So that’s kind of my blueprint for everyday living is, as I just shared. So obviously, there’s a lot in those 14 and a half years that I’ve manifested. But as I mentioned, yo you kind of off the record, one of the things I’m most proud of in 14 and a half years, and most people don’t even know this, I’m still going through one of the most challenging phases of my life. And there’s not one time in 14 and a half years, and this one of these I’m most proud of, I’ve said a negative thing on Facebook or responded in a negative way. And I think that takes [inaudible] today’s provoking, enormous indiscipline, and more importantly, it takes God’s spirit to kind of pull that back. So I’ve just developed into what I consider a beautiful soul. And I’m going to live on my last days encouraging people just because it feels good. And there’s so much hurt in the world right now. And hurting people hurt people. So therefore, we need to kind of to get to work.
JDH: So that’s kind of where my ministry manifested from is when I got divorcewhat’s ironic about it, my mom and dad got divorced when I was one and a half. My ex-wife left me when my son was one and a half. So I was always known in school as Jason Dobbs. But my mom remarried shortly thereafter to my dad, John Hyer. And so through this reflective process, it was time to honor my dad and say, “Okay. I need a new identity. I need kind like Paul, Saul becoming Paul..” I needed a new identity to go from Jason Dobbs to Dobbs-Hyer, hence JDH, because it was a representative of my life and where I come from and to honor my dad who stepped in the gap and raised me as his child. And then for me to then do the same to my son because I was faced with the same redemptive kind of process, which kind of a– looking back now, it’s kind of miraculous. So that’s how JDH Ministries came about. And that was basically servant leadership. That’s kind of where my focus is all about. And I do that through the Chief Inspiration side…inspiring really comes from God. Inspiration is for what purpose– you can inspire to do what. To do good, holistically, to bring about all the good elements of people’s lives and all the dimensions from the spiritual side, from the physical side, the emotional side. And you can’t live a high-quality life without all those things being in balance. So that’s kind of a I hoped I answered your question. That was a long-winded way to– I’m going to kind of just share from the heart, which is I have two sides of me. I have the military side. I can go do you what I need to do to fight the battles. But I also have a sensitive side, too, just like Jesus did. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I cry, and all that good stuff, so.
JK: Thank you so much for sharing more about your story. I loved hearing about it, and I want to thank you for your service as well. How many years did you spend in the Marines?
JDH: I only served two and a half years because I actually was discharged due to a disability. So I had a four-year contract, but I was medically discharged at two and a half.
JK: It sounds like those times with the Marines was very foundational for who you are today as well.
JDH: It’s funny you ask that. I mean, at that time– again, a disclaimer, there’s like two sides. That was pre-spiritual awakening. I went in because– I’m blessed that I went in, and I’m super thankful that I made that decision. But I went in for the wrong reason. I went in with an ego. I had something to prove, that I could become a US Marine, kind of show the world. And that really manifested from the fact that my biological dad walked out my life without ever wanting to be in it until 40 years later. And so I needed to– so when a father does that to a child, that tells them you’re insignificant. You don’t matter. So, therefore, I was going to show everybody that I mattered by becoming a big, bad Marine. It became foundational in the sense that I developed a wicked discipline. I’ve always been a disciplined person because it was emotionally protective for me. I needed to have those boundaries and striving for perfection. And ironically, that actually is part of the thing that crippled my marriage. So there’s kind of imbalance with that. Striving for perfection to be like Jesus is different than trying to strive for perfection from an emotional insecurity perspective, right?
JDH: So for me, the Marines, it was one of the best decisions that I made because I learned more about myself, and it instilled another level of discipline to this day that has served me really well in dealing with all kinds of relationship issues, just navigating the everyday life with people. I can do certain things tactically within the day-to-day. That served me well. Plus, obviously, I served honorably to the country, and I’m proud of that. And given the state that we’re in, I actually had a vibe to kind of go back. I was hoping my son would join, and I could go back with him because I could easily go back and do it. I’m fit enough to do it, and it was kind of a cool experience. But, yeah, it was definitely foundational because when I went to college, I didn’t party. I went straight to college a few years later. I went to college seven straight years and graduated summa cum laude. Straight through, no party and studied, took it all in. And my background is in psychology and counseling. So that’s kind of where I went to, from a formal educational process. So, yes, it was another long-winded– definitely, Marines were foundational, and I love my brothers and sisters that are doing it. And I’m actually in a tactical military mode now just because of the state of where we are at in America.
JK: So I want to talk a little bit about your certifications. You mentioned that you are very fit today, and I saw that you have some nutrition certifications as well, which is actually – I didn’t mention this to you – something that I’m pursuing, a health coaching certificate program as well. So JDH Ministries. It sounds like you do a bunch of holistic support coaching for individuals, both in overall wellness and nutrition and fitness. Can you tell me a little bit more about JDH Ministries ministries?
JDH: So I actually have two coaching consulting practices, one is JDH Ministries, the other is JDH Wellness. And what I learned– and my background is in psychology, religious education, and counseling. But what I learned is, in becoming a holistic person, in terms of faith integration, you really need the spirit of God to guide you, right, for purpose and meaning. It anchors all of the holistic pieces around it. Physicality is important, but it shouldn’t supersede the spirit. The same thing with– whether financial– business development, all of that kind of comes out of the foundation of you being a good person, trying to do all things good to serve God with what you’re building. So for the ministry side, most of my coaching is in– I have to say more on the emotional kind of side, relational side. And you can spin and dial on the wellness continuum and go around, so it’s more holistic in nature. But the basis is, we bring the spirit into the mix, and that’s the difference. As I don’t have a bias, I can still coach people who are non-Christian– that aren’t Christian. That’s where JDH Wellness comes in because while this is self-serving for all things, there’s definitely a gap there without being God- centered, Christ-centered.
JDH: And so that for me is where most of the energy and time is spent in helping people kind of get on their lives because everything really comes out of having a purpose and meaning. If you don’t have a purpose and meaning and sense of direction in life, all that other stuff really is just spinning in the mud– spinning your wheels in the mud. So my ministry is really holistic in nature. If I had to– where I spend most of my time coaching, it’s usually on the emotional side because people either have a self-defeatist mindset– they don’t believe in themselves. They self-medicate through their nutrition. So, therefore, if you get that right, then you can then help them with the nutritional side and so forth and so on. But really, where I’m going with my ministry– I’ve been at that for probably– I started my ministry a few years after I was divorced. So what? 12 and a half years. And I’ve basically done that pro bono. So I’ve actually coached people who needed the help, and I didn’t worry about the financial side. And over 10 years or so, that got me into trouble because I ended up funding that on my own dime and now, I’m X amount of dollars in debt because of that. So I just had to figure out a way to monetize it and didn’t really want the whole– it’s funny that the philanthropy– I really didn’t want the charity side like, “Oh, I just–” I never saw God that way. But you need money to live, so therefore it’s a transfer of value, and I just never did it.
JDH: So I’m moving more towards a new ministry where– what I found in the process is what I’m really good at. And I think this is an important thing for people to realize. You’ve got to– you can’t be all things to all people. You have to figure out what you’re good at and where you fit in. And for me, I see myself more in servant leadership where there’s other people that don’t want to be in leadership but have a ministry background. And the reason why health and wellness– if you look at the church today– if you look at– by and large, Christians should honor the father with their temple, right, shouldn’t put anything bad in it, just like back in the day when the Israelites were given the commands with the temple to do this and this, and it had to be pristine, right? And in a lot of cases, people were penalized for it. Now, with the body being the temple, you can’t really carry out God’s function if you’re sick or you don’t have a clear mind or your heart’s not in the right place. So the wellness side becomes fundamental to what you are. When I took a look at the Christian community, I was like, “They could be more out of touch than within– from those who are without– how can that be? We’re supposed to be honoring God in all things.”
JDH: So I developed a concept called Inspirit Life. And I’m still in the formative stage of this, where there’s a lot of people that can do either music ministry in Christianity, or want to be like maybe yourself a health coach, but don’t want to have a formal ministry to plug them in, and so the InSpirit Life would be a way to bring that all together in a platform, that they can then– therefore we can share in a universal message, and message of unity to bring that out. So that’s my next development because that’s where I’m better suited. I’ve done years and years of coaching, helped hundreds of people. Still do it now, kind of indirectly, but that’s God. showing me that’s not on a one-on-one coaching where I need to be. I need to be in other places. So because I’m still, as I mentioned, off the air, I’m still working like Paul. So I’m doing ministry. But I’m also working as a Chief Customer Officer for a drinking water protection company. So I keep myself busy, but my heart is there with the Inspirit Life. And it’s like you’re in Littleton– well, now that I know that, but if you were in PA and I’m here in Metrowest Boston, I’m with you in spirit becomes like, “Hey, I’m with you in spirit.” That’s exactly what the ministry that I’m looking to build has in mind, is bringing holistically all these practitioners together in one health and wellness ministry. And that’s what Inspirt Life will be about.
JK: That’s so important to have a big vision, and that’s what this podcast is all about, is, “Let’s get started with what we can do today. And let’s pursue it with excitement and passionate passion.” And like you said, it comes back to us, which is such a blessing to be a receiver when you give. I mean, that concept is so divine to me that that is part of how we were created, to be giving to others. And so, when I think about you, I can see that you are being very generous to people with giving your time to ensure that they’re putting proper nutrients into their body, really taking care of themselves, body, mind, and spirit. And how foundational taking care of ourselves is, to giving, as well. Have you found that in your own life where the more you take care of yourself, the more you’re able to give?
JDH: So I’m a competitive road cyclist, so basically, I ride my bike as fast as I can, and I’ll participate in events to do that. And so, years ago I started up a nonprofit M3 Cycling, which M3 stands for Motivate, Mentor and Empower. And so, I had a young son at the time, and I raced our local circuit, and I saw that there weren’t a lot of kids involved. And I was like, okay, so selfishly, again, I was like, “There’s nothing really here for my son to become a part of.” Us older guys, we race for ego and midlife crisis kind of stuff, or whatever it may be, just to push the boundaries. But what about kids? So anyway, I ended up starting – and it was one of the things I’m most proud of, as well – we started in our area a cycling project, and it was a mentoring program. So it kind of was like almost a one-to-one. And it blew up. I mean, I had so many good mentors join the team. I had some of my local cycling friends, and it just manifested. And they ended up taking the mantle because I went in a different direction, and they blew it up. And then we got several kids that went pro out of it, and everything. One of the things that I found pride in, and being comfortable in who I was, was being a selfless teammate. So in order to win races, you need to help your teammates win.
JDH: And the first race we did, I helped one of my teammates win without getting into all the tactics of it all. And when he crossed the line and won, even though it wasn’t me, I felt this elation like, “Wow, I’m cool with who I am. I love racing, and I did the best in the race that I could.” But seeing someone else be elevated to success and enjoy that became a prominent feature of who I am. And so now, I’m comfortable in who I am. I can walk around naked. I’m comfortable in my skin. I’m confident in who I am in God, because where he has me and the convictions. But I get more joy seeing other people shine. I just just how I am now, so I’m not intimidated by that. I love singing, and anybody who’s close, who knows me, knows that. If you think about Jesus, He washed His disciples’ feet, and He said, “There’s things that if you believe, you’ll do better things than I did.” And He set the model for that. So my whole life of living for Him is to strive for excellence in all that I do. And when I do that, that’s for me, and that’s between my relationship with me and God but also to pull all other people up with us. That’s discipleship.
JDH: And that’s what we’re supposed to do in loving our brothers and sisters is to help them when they’re down, right? At one point in my early life, I had a porn addiction. And so I have people that literally will call me up and say, “Listen, man, I slipped up last night,” because there’s such a trust there, right? And so we pray about it, and we work through it. There’s no judgment. There’s no you’re going to burn in hell. It’s like, okay, you slipped, and they want to grow. And it’s a beautiful manifestation of that. So I’m blessed to be in that part, to be a mentor or a coach, what have you, to help guide them through it. And I have people like that too. I have my own mentor team, right, so it’s a beautiful combination. But in that mix, there isn’t anyone who’s prideful or puts anybody down or anything like that. It’s all uplifting to what God would have us be. And we’re all on the same journey trying to get to the same place, and that’s to heaven, right, as cleanly as we can. We’re all human. We’re all sinners. And if I can play a little role doing that, then I’m comfortable. So all of these experiences that some of them I’ve been sharing, have led me to the point where I am comfortable in who I am.
JDH: And I want us– I want to see your podcast shine. And so I’m super excited to be on here. It’s like, wow, somebody’s taking a concept from a completely different angle, which is so badass in my mind I’m like, wow. And I’m actually to be able to be a part of it. And now you can– and one day, I’ll be like, “Oh my God, I was on her show. Look at her now. She’s transformed the lives of a million people.” That’s just good energy. So I don’t have hate. I don’t have a bone of hate in my body, never have. And with God at the center, it’s not there. I just love people and want people to come closer to Jesus because it’s His love, right, that allows me to share. I’m just a conduit. That’s all I am, just a vessel to do God’s work.
JK: I love what you’re saying, particularly about Jesus. He’s been someone who has come up in a lot of people’s stories about a source of inspiration for them. And we’ve talked about His unconditional love. We’ve talked about His generosity of spirit, but we haven’t talked about His servant leadership. And so I love that you’re bringing that up today, about how it’s such an foundational thing about who He was. And you mentioned He washed His disciples’ feet. Being a servant isn’t something that our society really values.
JDH: Great point.
JK: And I’m wondering if you could go into why you value being a servant.
JDH: Why I value being a servant? Well, it’s a part of the process. It’s a great question. It’s a really good question. It’s a part of the process, though, as I was just sharing, of when you serve, you actually– even though it seems like a derogatory practice, you actually gain, right? That’s what I was just alluding to with the notion of it feels good to see other people shine, right? And so when Jesus, in my humble opinion, when He was washing their feet, that can seem as an act of lowliness, even His act on the cross. It’s an act of power to be able to do that, because so often, people with ego, if you look at the state of the world, I mean, power, control, and money are the three vices that are causing, wreaking havoc in our whole globe right now. And they’re all tied pretty much together. And servant leadership is actually the opposite of that, right? If you think about when Jesus was which is ironic to me, when the devil went to Jesus on the top of the mountain, he said, “Listen, all you need to do is bow down and I can give you the whole earth.” Right? And Jesus was like, “No, I’m not going to do that. God is in control.” Right? All he had to do was to be a servant in a sense. But the rhetorical of that was he was for God’s power, but he was shown a duality of that by letting go of that, he actually had power over that.
JDH: So servant leadership, actually, there’s a great manifested power that gets unleashed to be able to humble yourself, park the ego, because I’m an alpha male. I’m a type-A 10x. To park that is very difficult in our humanness, but when you put it in God’s perspective and allow his spirit to kind of wash over you and transform your heart from the servant side, you see that washing feet and putting the other person first, you actually benefit from that in ways that you would have never thought. And there’s no amount of money that can actually take that place. I mean, I have literally walked the talk. I’m $80,000 in personal debt on my ministry and that’s a testimony to the fact that I put people first. I didn’t worry about the financial affairs. People came with an issue and a need and I was in a situation. I said, “Okay, what do I do with this? Back to my blueprint, God. Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? And how do I help this person?” And it was brought to my attention, I didn’t worry about the financial stuff. I let God work in that mix and took care of the situation there. I didn’t go through a formal coaching process, even though I do have a couple of different coaching programs I can put together. It was a deal with the need now and that’s how you did it.
JDH: Just like Jesus going to a town. He didn’t say, “Hold up here. I got to go over here and do this.” He just dealt with the needs of the day as he did them and he had financial backing. He had women that actually supported his ministry when he was out doing his stuff. So I tried to go that route with, “Okay, God, I’m going to leave it up to you and fund the ministry.” And He didn’t. And I learned some valuable financial lessons along the way. But to answer your question directly, you become who you are in servant leadership and you become more comfortable and at peace with who you are in the process and that allows you to then lift other people up. See, Jesus knew who he was and God. Right? He talked, “I am the father in one.” Right? He had the utmost confidence in who he was. That’s why he could do what he did. And so for me, I strive for that. That’s the goal in life. I’m never even going to get close to Jesus in terms of perfection. But the goal every day with a type A personality is to strive. What can I learn? How can I become better? I slipped up today. I’m going to try and get better the next day and that comfort allows me to do that. Just like I said earlier, it feels really good. It’s energizing. It’s encouraging to get up every day. And as I mentioned earlier, I’m going through the most challenging– I’m going to give you an analogy to put this into perspective. Okay? And again, I’m grateful for the invite, but this is a summary of how my life is this last 14 and a half years.
JDH: So imagine you get arrested, right? And you get shackled. You get handcuffed. You get your feet cuffed, and then they put a chain and they link them together. Right? Now, imagine they then take you and put you into a wooden casket. They lie you down in the casket. They nail the casket shut. Right? Then they load you in the back of a van and they take that van and it drives you down to a concrete company and they pour concrete covering over that wooden casket, put you back in the truck after it dries and takes you down to the Delaware River, right, where you can go kayaking and they slowly pushed it off and they say, “Good luck getting out.” That’s pretty much sums up the 14 and a half years that I’ve been through. Well, shoot. It’s a pretty negative harrowing concept. That’s how I felt with all the back story and a lot of other stuff that has gone on in my life, and yet I still find a way to get up and encourage people and inspire them, and show their value in God. And in that process, that has actually kept me alive. That’s kept me out of jail. That’s kept me out of doing bad things, getting into drugs and alcohol, and all other stuff.
JDH: So what I’m saying in these messages, whether on social media or saying them now, I’m actually saying them to myself because it’s been a coping mechanism for me to keep my spirit and my soul fired up in such a way that, “Okay, God, I trust you. That casket is slowly descending to the bottom of the ocean. I’ve got only a few minutes to get out of this. And I’m going to– only one way out, God, is I’m going to need you to break me out of that.” And so that’s why I do what I do. Nobody knows. I have very few friends that know this, and I’m sharing it openly because this is the truth to serve in leadership, is I do it because that’s where God has me in this station of life. And it has formed me into the man that I am and has helped me to understand and appreciate the true value of life and what humanity is all about.
JK: Thank you for sharing that. And I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I can tell that you rejoice in all circumstances.
JDH: Amen. There’s no other way, no other way.
JK: And I know all of us go through different difficult periods in our life and difficult things. And certainly now with COVID here, it feels like we’re all just slogging through some hard times. So I love how you’re sharing that the answer really is to be giving and giving that positive energy.
JDH: That’s right.
JK: Positive enthusiasm, optimism. And I know many people are hinging their excitement for the future on vaccine working, but I think you and I really see it as just something that we can look toward all the time, and not just with one thing that we hope will change things. It’s really about going deep within yourself and saying, “I can still be positive. I can still see the light. It’s within me. It will always be there.” And so I love that. Even though there are hard circumstances in our lives, we can still rejoice and be thankful, and be excited for other people.
JDH: If I may add, absolutely, I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the things that I think gets lost in life is the power of words. Right? That the Bible, I say, is a living entity, right, is a living, breathing entity. And when I read the Bible back when my son’s mother filed for divorce, like I said, I grabbed the Bible, and I read through it cover to cover. And when I was done reading it, I said, “Wow, this is pretty easy to understand. The message is pretty simple. What is everybody–?” Like, “What?” You can’t explain how God does it, but it literally transforms you. And there hasn’t been a day – also, another good thing I’m proud of – in 14 and a half years, no matter what I’ve done, no matter if that was a bad day, that I’ve not started the day reading scripture and ended the day just reading scripture, whether it was a verse or two, and let God speak to me. 14 and a half years I’ve done to this day. And so, Louis, thinking about social media, how you and I connected, and you found value and wanted to invite me here is the power in the word. So one thing is my– I just had a recent birthday. And one of the things– the takeaway when people are wishing you well, you don’t know when you put a message out there and the impact it’s going to have, as simple as it is. So I let God speak to me. “What do you want me to say today, God?” And I put a message out. And you may get one like, two like, and you’re like, “Man, nobody read this. What’s up with that?”
JDH: And then all of a sudden, a year later on your birthday, someone will send you a direct message saying, hey, man, you sent that message back and, man, you have no idea what I was going through and it literally turned my life around. And I look at that and say, oh, my God. That wasn’t me. These aren’t my words. God transmitted them through a certain period of time on a certain day and I was just willing conduit and servant and say, okay, God send me. I’m ready to go. I’ll say it. And he inspired me to say it and I wrote it. So that speaks to the empowerment of like, wow, God use me and you just get fired up about it and, man, there’s such a value to that, that literally words. I didn’t go out there and take a bullet for somebody or I didn’t– even though I would. Wow. So there’s such a power and words that I don’t think people really appreciate sometimes. And you can have a whole ministry just on that alone. I mean, look at Jesus. Jesus was the Word. The Word became living flesh. I mean, it doesn’t get more powerful than that. That spiritual manifestation that is encapsulated in that process is mind-blowing to me hence my animation here. So, yeah, so servant leadership. Servant leadership for all of us. That’s the challenge. All right.
JK: Yeah. So challenge is a good word to use because it isn’t always easy like you said. And your image of being in a river, shackled in a dark box can really show how it feels sometimes with what you’re going through. How claustrophobic and awful and dark feels. But like we were saying the ability to still see the light and rejoice makes it even more powerful, doesn’t it?
JDH: It’s funny. It just flashed in my mind. Jonah and the whale going down onto the earth. The other analogy that popped in my head the other day was the lone survivor. You look at the closer you try and walk with God, the more the devil turns up the heat. And it would be hard to argue these days that somebody didn’t give the devil a double shot of espresso because he’s running around and the evil– I mean, every single relationship that I know for the most part has been impacted from the impacts of COVID and lockdowns and the insanity and principles being turned upside down. What you thought was once real is no longer real. But when you look at God’s word, it’s like it doesn’t change. It’s the same then, it’s the same now, and it’s going to be the same in the future. That doesn’t change. That’s what faith does. It anchors you where you’re at.
JK: I think just focusing on that we can still always be seeing the light even though it feels very dark. That there is always the light that’s there that we can look toward.
JDH: Yeah. I mean, that’s you and I, right? That’s others that are listening, right? That’s the hope and encouragement is God– if you have a pulse and you have a breath, you have a purpose, right? You’re here for a reason. And so, therefore, the next question then logically begs God, why do you have here? What do you want me to do? Which is why I came up with that blueprint that helps to ground me and it helps me to stay focused on that which matters in the midst of all the insanity that’s going around. Because what happens is when you get caught up in that cloud, you lose the opportunity to be of service to somebody right in front of you. Somebody could be literally screaming out right in front of. You don’t see it because you’re too busy distracted in the noise of the world. Most of the stuff in the world, from my humble opinion, is just noise. Life is really simple at the end of the day and we just distract with all this stuff because we don’t want to deal with the hard stuff, right? The only way to get comfortable in life is to get uncomfortable. So, yes, going down in that casket shackled seemingly without a way out is how I felt inside but my everyday living manifestation is testimony that I know my God can get me out of this. I know my God can turn this around. My faith is that I’m going to walk and I’m going to live like that.
JDH: It’s just like Jesus when he was walking. And he knew that he had to lay his life down, but as he was taking that walk, he walked with confidence and he continued to take the spitting and the cursing and all the stuff, the ridicule. And he put it all on his shoulders on that cross. And so to me, I don’t have that– my cross is the casket analogy that I use. That’s how I see my– that’s a cumulative vision of my life of 14 and a half years. That’s not where the story ends, though. And so for me, it’s like my jeep, right? I have a push button on my jeep, right, to start it. The way I look at my life now and version 2.0 of my life is I haven’t even hit the push button on my jeep to start my life yet. I turned 47. I’m blessed to lived to live in the 94. I have my whole life to live in front of me, but I’m not the same person I am now that I was back in my divorce and in my 20s and when I was making all these bad decisions. That former life has died away. I’m all about all things good now. So that gives me a– I’m here to do work. This is a mission. Just like my Marine Corps days, you get a mission, you get your marching orders, you suit up, you get and you go. Now it’s a spiritual mission. What is it? Every day. And that’s how I kind of lived life. That’s exciting.
JDH: As bad as I– I can go into unpacked the things why it’s that way. But every day is an opportunity to help somebody in some capacity, whether it’s my neighbor, whether if it’s– it doesn’t matter what it is. I’m willing and ready to do it and more importantly, I’m conscious and I’m in the moment waiting to do it. And that feels good. And at the same time, it reciprocally creates a peace that surpasses all understanding inside of you that God is with you, no matter all the bombs going off around you, all the turbulence, all the insanity, it keeps you grounded. So therefore, someone who may not be where you’re at in the journey, you can lend a helping hand to them, whether it’s financial resources, whether it’s a kind word. Doesn’t matter what it is, as you’re living their life to see them do well and have a high quality of life. And that’s what JDH Ministries and JDH Wellness represents. That’s what I bring to the process.
JK: That’s beautiful. I’m so inspired. And that’s why you’re on this podcast, is because the words you use on social media. I tagged you as one of my favorites. I don’t think I told you this. And so you come up. You’re the first one to see because I know you’re never going to have a negative word. And there’s no controversy about what you’re going to write. There’s no negative anything. It’s just all praying for you, prayers that you’re sending out, the inspirational messaging that you got for the day or wanted to share.
JDH: Wow. I’m humbled by that. I didn’t know that, but that’s– and to me, it’s like, “Well, how do you–” I saw something in– I didn’t mean to derail you, but I saw something interesting about a kid. I don’t know if you saw that. I don’t know. Maybe you posted it. Where he had a game and chat. He was on with his friends, and he only had like one or two people in his audience. He was doing a gaming podcast kind of thing. And a kid came out and said, “Oh, you only got five followers.” And the kids said, “Hey, five is better than none.” And, “Hey, listen. If you want to be part of this community, I’d love to have you. And if you don’t, I’m sorry to see you go.” And it blew up. He went viral because it was like five people, and it was like, wow, because he didn’t have 100 million followers or 7,000 YouTube views and all this. And it’s like, “How do you gauge your success?” For me, it’s one person. The fact that you just said what you said is, “My life is a success.” So if you say it for me, what’s your success formula? Right? This is it. If I was a millionaire or broke or in debt or just scraping by, I do what I can, when I can, for who I can, with what I have. That, to me, is success. It could be the littlest things or it could be buying my son his Ferrari that he wants [inaudible] his teenage short hair, although he’s going to have to work for it. But I think you get the point. So, yeah, it’s just seeing other people shine, that keeps us straight in line with the Divine. I like coming up with simple rhymes.
JK: I like that you mentioned that story about that boy who had such a great attitude with only having five followers and having people kind of bullying him and making fun of that. And it reminds me, I had shared on social media yesterday that my son scored the first goal of the soccer season at his very first game and how exciting that was. And then we did go on to get creamed by the other team and that wasn’t something I shared. And I started to think in my mind, “Well, what if we’re the losing team of the whole season?” And I started to think about, “Okay, this might be a lesson that we need to teach the kids or even teach their parents if they’re frustrated that their child is on the losing team.” All I know is that I was cheering on the sidelines the whole time and the kids were playing their hardest and they didn’t have any bad words to say. We cheered for the other team at the end. And so, like you said, we can define success differently than how the world defines it. So the world would define it as the winning team, the team who scored the most goals. But when you’re the underdog and I’m not feeling that way and have circumstances where other people seem like the winners, you can really overcome that and change your thinking, and that’s where the success lies.
JDH: Yeah, if you think of it, too, how did Jesus, how did he sum up success? You can look at it in the great commandment, love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Implicit and even in that statement alone is a challenge. You can’t begin to love your neighbor until you first learn to love yourself. And from what we see in society, a lot of people haven’t come to yet learn to love themselves and they haven’t done that because they haven’t let God who loved us first love them. Therefore, in that triad, it gets very tricky in terms of defining what success is. So Jesus would start there. But the other thing he would say is there’s no greater love and for men to lay down his life for his brother. And so therefore, wow, that’s a lifetime of unpacking just to discern what that wisdom means. No greater love than to lay down your life for your brother. To meaning put other people first to define success. And it wasn’t monitary with Jesus. We know that. So if we’re looking to him for the model of success, it’s in love and that’s the truth. So all the things that you and I have been sharing here really are rooted in love. They’re manifestations and behaviors and actions of love, acts of love. What does it mean to love your neighbor? That’s a whole unpack in there of wisdom that it could take a lifetime to understand what that means, but it’s action. Love is a verb. It’s an action, it means to do something. To your point, the lessons, you learn the lessons. I’ve coached young kids.
JDH: I remember one in particular, he literally just reached out to me. It’s a beautiful moment. He was the least of them. I nicknamed them Chris the Conquer. I’ll be okay saying his name too. And he was the lowest. He worked hard. We stayed with him, we gave him the love. We encouraged him. We taught him the lessons. He was the slowest on the team at the time, always dragging behind. And he’s one now, the best. Years later, he sent me a message, he wanted me to come down to one of his bike races. Beautiful to watch that, only because we defined success in the matter of what it meant to him and in the paradigm of love at the time. Just being there and encouraging him and inspiring him and not writing him off, he’s now a champion. He’s going for nationals this year. It’s beautiful to watch and inspiring to see that. And it’s just it takes the change agents, like you’re saying, this platform that you’re doing here and inviting all the– I’ve listened to your other guests, but I need you to get inspired. It’s those change agents are what shape the world and make it meaningful and pleasant to wake up every day, to go on either social media or walk outside your door, go to the grocery store in a non-COVID pandemic situation; where you want to run into Jesus at the ball game. You want to run into Jesus at the post office. You want to run into Jesus at the grocery store and so forth. That’s the goal, right? Who wouldn’t want to experience him? And that’s each of our tasks every day to become more like that in that servant leadership, loving way.
JK: Many years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I realized that I was giving to other people a lot more and not giving to myself. And I read that verse about love your neighbor as you love yourself, and I flipped it around just like you said. And it was like, “Whoa, I’m giving all this energy into other people, but I’m not giving that same energy back into myself.” And so then it became about, “Okay. I do need to take care of myself. I do need to be putting healthy food into my body, exercising, reading, writing; my favorite passions.” I do need to take care of myself and as well as other people. So people tend to think that Christianity is selfless, but there’s an equal exchange here as partners. I see you as my peer and not–
JDH: That’s right. Likewise.
JK: –seeing other people as just journeyers on this journey like you said.
JK: In this very challenging world, like we said this year, particularly challenging. And so when we are giving people that positive energy, and I know that for us, comes from God– when we’re giving that level of love and joy and patience and all the fruits of the Spirit, we’re blessing other people and showing up as they need it, too. And hopefully, that they can be that change agent, like you said, into the people that they touch. So, it does have a ripple effect, doesn’t it?
JDH: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like a spark, right? So you think about Jesus went through the same thing. He has a twofold ministry, right? He went out fully charged, ready to do God’s work, into the community and whomever God wanted to use as an example for us to read about and see– and there’s so many other things we don’t know about that weren’t written because I think the books would be stacked to the moon. But of the things we do know, Jesus went out, did his ministry, engaged with the public, and then he went off into solitude. How many times does he– he goes off to pray. In other words, he’s pulling his charger back and he’s recharging. He goes back to God. What’s funny is, I spend probably, when I’m not working, engaged with people– I’m a very outgoing person, but I spend 90% of my time alone. I ride my bike alone. I spend my time with God. I’m 100% comfortable being alone. I love people. But there’s times where I need to recharge my battery, and I do that with my time spent with God in prayer and meditation.
JDH: Here is another interesting concept, like, “Oh, pray for me. Pray for me.” Prayer, to me, is, you’re petitioning God for something. Okay. God. But then we all listen. Meditation is listening. Listening to God’s voice is one of the most critical things or experiences a person can have. But we’re so busy with everything else in life that we don’t stop. God’s sitting over there, like, “I already gave you the answer 10 minutes ago. You didn’t want to hear it.” Stop and listen for God’s voice and you hear it. And so your point about going back to the wellness side, all of the things about wellness, looking good, feeling good, performing well, thinking properly, having a positive mindset, all of that stuff, most people don’t realize this in the Christian world, that’s a form of worship. That’s how you worship God to thank him, right, for him giving you this. He made all of this. He made the performance, right? So if I eat properly, I can go and perform well in my fitness world. If I think and fill my mind with all good, positive stuff like I do, can you imagine, I’m sharing all of this positive stuff and I’m in the worst station of life right now in a lot of other things. Can you imagine if I get through those things? I’m going to be on fire, like nitrous in my body, right?
JDH: But I’ve created a pattern, right, of habits of insulating myself from not crashing and burning. That’s why I could still stand strong despite the casket going down and sinking to the bottom of the ocean. I know God’s going to come. I don’t know at what depth, but I know he’s going to do it. And I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable. And I have my moments where I’m like, “Oh, God.” But then I go back. But the good thing is I’ve created the habit of positivity, okay? When I’m feeling bad, go do something and think about something positive to help your brothers and sisters. And when I do that and post it and I know it touched someone’s life like you. When you said to me, “Oh wow, I got you on your favorites thing.” I’m super humbled by that. I’m just a guy like you sojourning through life. We connected here, God connected us and here we are. But to hear you say that is like, “Wow, okay, God’s using me.” That’s more evidence of faith going, “God’s with me, God’s with me, God’s with me.” Those little markers of success, all right? I don’t need one hundred million people following. I don’t have an ego. It just means I’d be able to do more. And so he who has such, more is expected, right? In a sense, right? And so it’s all part of the spiritual journey here and building the kingdom together. So yeah.
JK: You mentioned that you like to spend time with yourself and this is one of the things that’s been coming up in my own life. People have been saying, “Would you be your own friend to that voice in your head that’s so critical and so negative?” If that person that is the critical negative person in your head–was an actual physical person in real life, would you want to hang out with them?
JDH: In my mind now? Are you asking me that?
JK: Oh, I’m asking this for myself
JDH: Well, only you can answer that, right? If you’re comfortable being with who you are in your space, looking in the mirror, and being comfortable. And I am. I mean, I have a long road to go, but I am– for me to be able to openly say to you that I watched pornography in the past means that God has done a work. I’m not ashamed because he’s taken that sin. I’ve learned from the futility of it, and it’s been washed away, right? I’ve done steroids in my life. I will never forget. This is crazy. This is a crazy story. So I literally biked to my son’s soccer game. This is like four or five years ago. This was right when Lance Armstrong came out. This was a soul– what an experience. So literally imagine the game is about to start. You know soccer because you were just there yesterday. I’m flying. I’m running late to the game, so I’m booking it on the bike. I get there, I’m pouring with sweat. And the guy’s family, the fathers are like, “Hey, man, what’s up?” And I’m like, “Hey man, what’s the score?” And, “No, it was just about to start.” I’m like, “Cool.” He was like, “Hey, man, what do you think about Lance? He just came out with dope, man, on Oprah.” Or something or whatever the year was. I said, “Man, who am I to judge him? I’ve done steroids in my life.” I said this on the sideline. The whole thing stopped. And all the parents looked at me like, “He didn’t just say that.” And I was like, “Yeah.” And then it was like– and then the guys were like [inaudible].
JDH: And so the reason I bring that up is the reason I can say that so flippantly is because I’ve healed. I asked God for forgiveness I did wrong. I’m paying the price for that. I put a substance in my body, I made a bad decision at a time in my life and I’m paying– I pay the price for that. So I have no one else to blame but myself. But if I can stop one person. I can’t tell you how many people God has brought in my power in coaching and counseling in the last 10 years, last decade, with that very notion that I’ve been able to say, bro, you don’t want to go down that road. Let me show you the scars from injecting. Let me show you this. And I’m able to speak about it openly because if I can stop one person from doing it, then it was well worth me taking– oh, my God, I can’t believe you said that. That’s the truth. So I’ve healed from it. And so that’s part of my story and that’s part of my testimony that I’m able to do that. So and circling back, in a sense, to your statement about are you comfortable being with the voices in your mind and your friends? And the answer is yes. And I think the reason that I bring that up is I think it’s a point of encouragement to help people to get to that place is whatever you’re going through, whatever you’ve been through, your deepest, darkest sin and secret or wrongdoing if you put it on God’s altar, he vaporizes it, right?
JDH: There is no wrong that God can’t overcome. That’s the cross. That’s Easter. That’s what just happened. He died on the cross and then he laid his life down and he resurrected to show us his power over that. But he wants us to come to him to put that on his altar. And there is peace. That’s the peace that I believe surpasses all understanding. I’m able to speak openly about that when you would be shamed or oh, my God. And there’s a level of– so it helps you to become friends with yourself in a place that you’re comfortable being who you are at all times. That’s how I see it and that’s what I’ve come to on my own journey as of right this moment.
JK: You mentioned it earlier when you do your ministries and people are talking to you about the challenges in their life that you approach it with being non-judgmental and it’s reminding me about this critical voice that I have in my head. I need to remind that that just like my goal is to not judge others, my goal is not to judge myself as well.
JDH: Amen. Great point. And that voice that’s doing that condemnation is the same voice that tempted Jesus on the mount, saying, oh, come on. Surely you can just bow down to me and I’ll give you the earth, right? That’s what we’re up– this is spiritual warfare that where those negative voices in our mind either have God speaking all things good in your minds. I just love that phrase, manifested in the pandemic. And then you have the devil whispering all the negative things trying to keep you– oh, God wouldn’t do this or oh, no, you’re not worthy. God certainly wouldn’t call you to do this. You don’t have the talents and the skill. All that negative stuff doesn’t come from God. God is an edifier. God is an encourager. God is an inspirer. Inspiring literally means to come from the spirit. It comes from God that’s what inspiration means. That’s why I use Chief Inspiration Officer. It’s kind of like a cool way to– oh, you’re a counselor. No. No. My job is to inspire. Inspire you to create a spark, right? For you to realize your worth, your value in God’s plan and why He has you here, otherwise, he wouldn’t need you to be here. You’re here for a mission. Now, you’ve got to go figure out what it means. And I’m going through this with my son right now because he’s all in this teenage oh, I got to get rich and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. God has you here to make the world a better place. You figure out how you want to do it or how He’s going to use you to do it.
JDH: And another way to say it is you’re either giving to the world or you’re taking away. There really is no middle ground. So we have to make a choice, right? God came to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30:19 and He said, listen, it’s real simple. I put before you life and blessings or curses and destruction. I want you to choose life. The choice is yours. Choose wisely. Deuteronomy 30:19 is like oh, we all have that and I just presented this to my son on this, matter of fact. Got to choose where you want to go. For me, I want the blessings. I want to be a blessing, right? So I want to live a fruitful, meaningful, satisfied life of contentment, right? And I always say that I’m content, but I’m not complacent. There’s a difference. I can go to God right now and feel comfortable. He give me a high five and give me a hug and welcome me to the gates of heaven. I’m not boasting, but I have that peace to know that. But He keeps me here therefore I’m not complacent because I know there’s work to be done and that’s what I was saying in my 47. I just turned 47 but I’m not ready to go to heaven because there’s work to be done and I see it. I mean we wake up every day and go, “Oh my God, God. Dang, there’s a lot of work. Let’s go.” There’s alot hurting in this world, so.
JK: I don’t know if you saw in my email, but I call myself the Chief Charity Motivator.
JDH: Oh, I like that. I didn’t see that. Nice
JK: Yeah, when you own your own businesses you can kind of call yourself whatever you want. And while–
JDH: Innovation. Love it.
JK: –I do like Founder and CEO my real goal is to be a Chief Charity motivator. And so we have heard so much from you today about your source of inspiration and how important Jesus is in your life and the real center of who you are. And I want to thank you for your honesty, for sharing about your life and the struggles you’ve had and the overcoming that you’ve experienced and the growth that you have gone through and I just want to say thank you so much for being here and sharing your story. And I’m hoping that it would be a blessing to others as much as it’s been to me. So thank you, Jason, so much for–
JDH: It’s an honor to be with you. I mean, and likewise, you’ve great questions. Love the energy. May God continue to bless you and allow your message to resonate where it needs to go and who needs to hear it and help those who do and also that he helps you to– hopefully, something that was said here will help with your own situation and some of the voices in your mind and all that good stuff.
JK: And I just want to put a plugin for one of your charities of choice, the Wounded Warrior Project. So if any of our listeners are feeling inspired by your message and want to support disabled veterans, they can go to woundedwarriorproject.org. And if they’d like to continue the conversation with you, they can email you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JDH: Yep, that’s correct. And by the way, I just want to say what you are hoping to do you’re actually doing it. Your podcast so it’s– what do you have? One interviewee– I don’t know the language, but you’re actually are here. It’s a success. We’ve had the conversation. The fact that you actually took the initiative to do it is awesome. And I wish you nothing but success and see you shine. And I’m blessed and humbled that you allow me this opportunity to share part of my journey with your audience, with you, and get to know you a little bit better, too. And as you said earlier, I think you summed it up best. We’re in the same journey together, right? To edify each other, to share each other’s burdens. That’s discipleship. That’s part two of the process of our life together. So, super grateful. Now, I know you’re in the area. You’re not that far away, too. So once this pandemic passes I can get together for coffee, on me, or tea or whatever you drink or whatever. But…huge blessing. It’s just a huge blessing to take time out of the day to do this with you and I’m super humbled for the opportunity.
JK: Thank you, Jason. Have a good rest of your day.
JDH: You too. Bye for now.
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