God still rescues. Listen to Jonathan Simpson's powerful story of rescue, camping in the woods for 2 months and a triathlon!
Good Morning Oaks families. Happy Sunday says episode number seven weeks seven of the Oaks Interactive. But doing this a while now, huh? Well, listen, I hope you and your family are doing well, and I just want to let you know that gender and I love you guys, and we haven't exciting, exciting interview for you today. So grab your family, grab your coffee, your dog and get ready for a great service today. I'm gonna jump right in it. And, uh, this is an interview that I had with Jonathan Simpson, who is an amazing guy in our church. He and Bridget, his wife, they, uh, they're sweet young family in our church has been tracking with our church for some time. Now. Let's get into that interview now. Jonathan Sampson. Yes, sir. I was not much, man. Hey, listen, we're so happy to have you today with us. Um, Yolks Interactive. And Johnson is some of our church members. He and his family, um, Bridget and his little girl Everly. How old is Everly
Awesome. Good deal. How long have you guys been coming to the oaks? John?
Who? I'm terrible with Tom and, uh, but we've been coming. We came about half a year after we got married, and we've been married for coming up on five years now. So right around five years.
Wow, That's awesome. Well, listen, So today. Ah, well, first of all, let me ask this. What have you guys been up to during the quarantine? What's going on with with your house is affected your family and so forth.
A Zafar is affecting family. Um, me and Bridget are both still working. So kind of everyday. Life is normal. The only thing is we don't get to see the people we love. We get to see the people who work with but not the people that we love, like people at the family at the oaks. And we're kind of trying to stay away from our families here. We hadn't seen Bridget's parents and since this whole thing started, So the weekends are kind of quiet, but that it's gonna life as usual. You know, apart from the grocery store, being absolute chaos when you get it.
So, Jonathan wit, where you from?
I'm originally from hatch each other, which is where we live. It's about 45 minutes away from Opa Locka. Okay, Which direction us. Do you go South Southern Lee, 45 minutes. You'll hit. You'll hit hatch a chubby. But don't blink because you will miss it.
Uh, it's Hatcher. Chevy in Lee County.
No, it isn't. Russell Counter. Okay. Yeah. So you're not
too far from us, actually, Um, out in Marvin. So that's where we are right now?
No, we we like it, But we're Ah, we're actually planning it on moving closer here. Coming soon? Nothing. Nothing official yet. But we just want something a little closer.
Uh huh. But, listen, one of the reasons that I want to interview you today, Jonathan, is I want it. I want you to be able to share just a little bit with our church family about your story and your journey with Jesus And how you met the Lord now. Ah. Did you grow up in charge, Jonathan?
I did. My father is the minister of Music for Hatchet Trouble Baptist Church. And it's the church. About 75 80 people. Um, my mother plays the piano every Sunday. What? They were we were teetotalers growing up. We there wasn't. Ah, a miss Sunday. And if it was, we were We're reading the Bible and on vacation. You know, against Tim would take the Bible with them way stopped for an hour on Sunday morning before we could go to the beach or do whatever we were doing. It have us a good old worship service.
Oh, that's great. That's awesome. So that explains about you being a musician. I guess you have some roots. Um,
well, I like to say I'm a little bit better musician than him, but my mother, my mother's phenomenal, phenomenal piano
went to send him there so he could hear that. Some something that some of you guys might not know about. Jonathan, You know, he's a bass player. You play other instruments. Charming.
I like I gotta be careful what I say. Because if I say yes, then David Or has made a place, so I'm gonna go with no.
Okay. All right. Well, that might be in there for him. Toe inquire. Ah, Jonathan also is ah, has some experience as a recording professional. Like a sound engineer. Then you go to school for that. Johnson.
I went to school for entertainment business in Orlando. And with that, I did. I did some booking for a couple of venues out there and then with all that came, you know, the sound engineer doesn't come you. The show's gotta go on. So you kind of step up to the board and figure out what all those knobs do. This kind of how I stepped into that field.
I got you. That's awesome. Well, hopefully you can oversee our recording project. That's gonna happen at some point at the
absolutely No mats Got it pretty tight care of the,
uh, great. Have you spent some time in the studio actually recording?
Um, yeah, I have. But, you know, now in in the new day and age, a studio is a little bit different than it used to be back in the day. Now, you know, a studio can be in somebody's closet and living room. So that's mostly of what I've done is I mean, it's a full session studio session, but it's in somebody's mom's house, sir. Yeah,
Yeah, it's all digital now, too. Well, listen, tell us, Jonathan, about just just just tell us your story. Just pick up where you want to pick up. Tell us how you came. Ah, to be in a relationship with Jesus to be walking with Jesus.
Yeah, man, it's Ah, it has. It has been a journey. Like I said, I grew up completely religious and, you know, no, Had the perfect childhood. My parents gave me everything I needed. And mawr, um I say probably around the age of 16. Um, I started getting into some things that I shouldn't get into and just from their kind of digressed and started straight and further and further away from the Lord. Um, by the time I moved away from home, just church, wouldn't even our god wouldn't even a part of my life. I mean, in in my mind, of course, you know, he's always with us, but just stripped, stripped of stride away. Very, very, very four.
How how old were you when you moved away?
When I moved away, I was, Let's see, I was 19 years old as soon as as soon as high school was over and I was I was ready to get out of the country and I was ready to go do big things. And in a bigger city
uh, got you,
So Yeah. So I'm sorry. Go ahead.
You go on. I'm listening
now. So just through all that, you know, I've moved, hopped around, moved to Atlanta first, and that didn't Atlanta didn't work out, so I moved Orlando, um, got got my degree there, you know, all through school. Just partying, using all all the drugs is I'll leave it there. Um, by the time I was 23 I probably had been I hadn't been sober a single day since the age of 16 and and I was kind of, uh, the lowest one of my life. I think 20 threes, That weird age where you kind of like it all clicks that. Hey, if I'm not going anywhere, I'm not doing anything. And that was when I had my I have my mental breakdown this so I can call
you in Orlando at the time. When that happened, it
started in Orlando, and like I said, things things weren't working out. I couldn't find a job. Well, I could find plenty of jobs, but nobody would pay me to do it. But I wanted to dio um And it was at that point where like I couldn't pay rant couldn't do all that stuff. So it was either find a job doing something that I had no desire to do or moved back home and kind of sit on my parent's shoulders for a couple of months. Toe, let me figure things out. And as soon as I moved back home, it just spiraled down where I became severely depressed, suicidal, like it was literally the lowest lowest I'd ever been on. And so I knew I needed to turn things around. I knew I needed to change. So my my mind the best thing to do. I took off to the woods and I literally slept in a tent for two months.
Tell us about that. So you just thought, Hey, I'm gonna go clear my mind.
I said my I told my parents that said, I'm not going to every have That's not option. I'm gonna do Jonathan's rehab. I'm gonna go to the woods where I can't get my hands on anything. I'm gonna be by myself, and I'm gonna figure this out. I'm gonna come out better. On the other hand, that's now. I know I won't. I'm not gonna lie. I didn't bear Grylls it. I mean, I did touch fish, took it on the campfire. But I did have pop Tarts. Um, sort of. I have food, but, uh, yeah, two months total. I was in the woods sleeping in a tent every night. Just get my head straight. And at the time, I didn't really most my testimonies about, like, doing what God told you to do, but not realizing that that was God telling you to do that thing. Mm. But I just had this. I knew that if I went, I knew that if I went to the woods, something good was gonna happen. And so I did. And the funny thing is, the best thing that ever could have possibly happened happened because for those that don't know Bridget, me and Bridget grew up together. Bridgette's my wife. And, um, so one that my parents I stayed on my parents land. One day, I walked up to see my mom and dad, and it was a Sunday. And Bridget, it just got out of church hatched Chubby Baptist Church, okay? And they decided to just drive by one day, and I randomly saw Bridget in a car. First girl. I had seen it too much. And I was like, Wow, Bridget has This is the first time I had Saint Bridget in probably 10 years. My, uh and it just kind of like a spotlight shone owner. And it was like, God saying, hurt. You need to You need to seek hurt. You need to see what she's all about. And we started talking and pretty much Bridget Light Bridget at a large part of getting God back into my life and set me straight. And, like, I knew pretty fast into that whole relationship that, like this this wasn't spontaneous. This was God. Put Bridget in my life to get me where I need to go.
Mm. So let's go back to the woods for just a minute, okay? Unpack that for me a little bit. What was that process like when you were alone for two months in the woods?
I've always been one of those paper where I don't mind being by myself, but it's not. It's not the worst thing in the world. Not talk to anybody for a day or two. Um, so, like, you know, the first couple of days. You're kind of like getting your camp set up, getting ready, and that's what your mind's focused on. And then after about week, one week to you, you've got a lot of time to sit there and really unpack, like where you went wrong. And how are you gonna this, You know, this is your life. You got one. How we gonna figure out what to do to make it a meaningful life? Yeah, and that's that's what it was really all about. I mean, I'd sit there and with walking sticks by the campfire, Deuce thinking like, you know, where I went wrong. A lot of it, you know, was I was I was down on myself, but also it was very light. Very riel. Very, um, constructive criticism. Almost like the intermodal off with myself doing that.
You know, one of the I was just reading about this recently, but one of the gifts that God has given people is self awareness that we are able it is so important. This the during the quarantine. This has been an opportunity for me at times to just try to get outside of myself and see myself and it's really important. I know I talk a lot about this at church, but I felt reflection is one of the most powerful tools that God has given us because it allows us to attach meaning to write things in our lives and, you know, it leads. Reflection leads to planning, which leads toe, you know, in the course. Certainly a direction. So were there any moments when you were in that that time for the Lord? Like you felt like he broke through and spoke to you?
Uh, no. But I mean, yes, in a way. Then, like, I feel like like I say, I feel like he put me there. My number I personally have never heard. And I always, you know, as a kid, you thought you hear people saying that they got a word from the Lord. You always think it's gonna be this deep voice coming from the heavens like Jonathan, You go. And it's never been like that. It's always been, you know, I can tell when it's when my inner monologue with myself kind of changes in. I feel like when I, when I start to up, lift myself from within that like that's That's the Lord putting his hand directly on me and saying, you know, hey, kiss, In my opinion, you know, I think God has control everything. So why can't we think that God has control of our thoughts? So when he puts these thoughts in your head like I feel like if I don't know how to explain it other than like some some of my thoughts have ah librato to him and it's like, I can't I can't shut it up. I can't quit thinking it. And when it feels right, I mean, most of the time, I I follow that I go and it hasn't led me astray yet.
That's really good stuff. You know, Um, I just lost you there. Johnny, Can you see me?
I can see you can use a way out.
Yeah. You know, I think that's really good stuff. What you're talking about with your thoughts. You know, often I think when the Lord speaks to our spirit, man, it sounds like our voice because that's what we hear on the inside of us. And I think what you're talking about, there's that earmark of peace. You know, when the Lord speaks something are what you say bravado. I love that I'm a bar that from you you can have, like I heard somebody say before that thought had sauce on it like it had. There's something in it that's spiritually and I think that, I think absolutely, you know, there's times where the Lord, as I felt like giving me a clear words. I think there's times where I've had, like, dramatic encounters with Jesus. But most of the time it is a thought. That's what it is. It's an anointed thought, and I think that's a real common way that God speaks to us is through impressions. You know, there's, Ah, Greek word where Jesus said that he knew in his spirit the Greek word is Ito. But it's just like a inter knowing, and that's often how the Lord speaks to us is through that that that way. So tell us, you know, what was that transition point, or was it up? Just that wasn't a slow process where because I know now, you know, I can definitely tell just the hunger in you for Jesus and that you're pursuing Jesus kind of walk us forward like that transition point where you were, You kind of moved away from, ah, life that where you were being controlled by other forces to where Jesus was the the, um, the pre eminent desire in your life, you know, to move forward with him.
I I'm not saying this just because we're on a phone call together, but like I really do owe a lot of a lot of my four progression to to you and to our church and the people in it, Um, growing up in a Southern Baptist church, you know, it's a lot of hellfire and what not to do. And until I had started coming to the Oaks like I finally tapped into Hey, God loves he really loves us like, really love us. And I finally felt that love and once I felt it, man like, it's hard to turn away from it when you feel it. Mm. And so it just once I started realizing like, Hey, God wants a relationship. He's not. I like he's not a tyrant. He wants toe, he wants to relationship. And not only does he want a relationship, but like and I really realized this now that I have a child of my own life. Our father wants us to be the best human that we can possibly be. That's good. So, like, as soon as I realized that, like, I'm gonna get after, I'm gonna go for and do it for him because, you know, I like to think of human like we all have superpowers. We really do. If you think about, like what the human body Condoned, what we've been given and stuff in light. I want to use all that. I wanna I want to get there, if you know what I mean.
Uh huh. So, um, quick thought and then well, I'd like to move on to what you're up to right now, but, um, what Johnson is saying about about feeling God, you know, sometimes people in church people in particular, they're really afraid feelings because we don't want to be led by our feelings. Of course, we we don't want those to be in charge. We walk by faith, not my site. However, it's really important. Understand? That relationship is an experiential verb, like if a relationship is a verb, I know it's a noun, but but when you're doing relationship with someone. It is an experience like like, uh, when you're like what John and I are doing right now, we're experiencing one another's person, and God is no different than that. So relationship is not just learning platitudes or learning. You know, I could read about Jonathan Story, but it's different when I'm looking at him or talking. I'm entering it. There's this is the difference in religion and relationship is that relationship is experiential by nature. And it's important for us to understand that while we're not led by our feelings and we're not just seeking an experience but that our relationship with the Lord is experiential and he wants us to feel his law. He wants us that way. Want to keep obeying him, even if we don't feel his love. But he wants us to encounter his person. Like when you talk to think about the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness. God wants us to experience his kindness. He wants us to experience his goodness. And so what John is talking about? I feel that really it gives flash to that idea is that we're not just learning about God but were Actually, we're learning to love him, which is another experiential term. So anyway, now John and Tillis, was it going on with you now your relationship. Now let's just say, Why don't you pick up like maybe since the New Year? What's Godman speaking to you about?
So the New Year I've never been a New Year's resolution kind of person, but I had another one of those Stultz that were we've been talking about. And it was all about gratitude and show being, being truly grateful for what what we have and what we've been given. And so I've kind of said a standard in my family that ever not before before we eat our while we're eaten. We open up a conversation, and me and Bridget got back and forth as to what we're grateful for. It's good, and it's surprisingly, way harder than I thought it would be.
Uh um, It's easy to complain, isn't it?
Well, it was easy the first month, and then now it's like I can't be grateful for the same thing. I gotta have something new or you have a bad day and you gotta find something that you're grateful for. It divorces you toe it forces you to be grateful for things that like I wouldn't expect. Like I'm grateful for arguments that I have with Bridget, just, for instance, because through that argument we got a better understanding each other. And it's weird to say that like, I'm grateful that we argued, but it's kind of been working. It's been helping out, but it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Ah, that's the uh yeah. The other thing is, I feel like God really told me toe like he gave me a word and that was to run Aziz. Funny is that sounds like I just kept having the urge to run and the feelings to run. And so I have sand up or a 70.3 earned man, which will happen in September. I signed up for a lot of other raices, but those all got Kant's will do the Corona virus. But I've been trying for that and I have learned so much. I've grown closer and I've learned so much about myself through that process because if you realize how easy it is that you don't get down on yourself when you're six miles into a run and you got six miles to go.
Oh, Joon's your six miles into a run. Wow, I'm sorry. Keep going. No,
that's it. Just your Ah, your inner dialogue really changes. And you start to get down on yourself on like, you've got to find it in you that to pick yourself back up in a lot of times that does come from come from the Lord like I truly like. I feel pretty close to him in those times where I'm where I'm struggling to put one foot in front of the other in like, I don't know it just it's crazy that you can get us are a surge of energy after used completely, um, tired yourself out and like, I think that comes from him. Honestly.
Wow, that's awesome. So what is maybe one thing that you could throw out that you've learned about yourself in this process? And did you say 70 point? What? It's a
70.3, so it's ah, mile and 1/4 swim, 56 mile bike ride and then a 13.1 mile run all at the same time. Uh, in one day.
Oh, wow. That's amazing, guys, Jonathan told me earlier. He's already done 24 miles today, which is incredible on his bike eso anyway. So tell us what's what's one thing?
Uh, I'll say instead of something that I've learned about myself, I've really found a great tool, um, to kind of like, change your heads. It's It's the Matra. So a marketer, you know, something that you say over and over and over again. We do it a lot in church. You said the same verse as we leave every time. And I finally have figured out the meaning behind all that in light. How? Say something that I don't believe it. First I m And as I'm running, I will say it 152 100 times and believe it or not, by the end of it, if it's true, you'll start believing it. So, like, I've really been using that tool and like, Okay, it kind of helps to wipe away some of these untruths that you tell yourself
and let's get so question and don't do this unless you want to. But can you tell us what your mantra is?
I can't Absolutely. And you know, you can use it. It you could still if you want to. But I If you ever see me running, you might think I'm crazy because I'm just yelling this at the top of my lungs out loud. But one of things that I I say is this is to God, of course, is you are the light. So I am the life when us John you shine. So let your light shine on May and I also that over and over and over and over again and it like it's one of those power is like eating a mushroom Memoria, uh, gets me going.
Oh, that's good. Can you say that one more time? And actually, I think we're in a place where maybe we want to kind of land the plane here. But would you do this? Would you look into the camera? And would you actually make that as a declaration over our church?
Absolutely. OK, I don't need to like, get closer way. All right, Lord, you are the light. So I am the light When I shine, you shine So let your light shine on me
Oh, that As against now we want to do this one more time because this is the oaks Interactive and people. You've heard it twice now, John. Then only to say it again, it's that we're gonna just put a little bit of space between it. So this is more like a responsive reading, except we'll call it a responsive declaration. So, John, then you say it. And then I want you at home to say it. So let's do it one more time and this will wrap
us up today. All right, Lord, you are the light
lord. You are the light.
So I am the light. So
I am the lie
When I saw him
When I shine,
you shot, You shot. So let's your light So go on all night
shine on May Who? Uh Oh, that's good stuff, Jonathan. Thank you, man. What? I've enjoyed so much spending some time. Really? I know that. Ah, that the rest of our church family and anybody else watching this that they've enjoyed it. Teoh and ah, we love you guys. Give Bridget our love were so happy Toe have this family. You know, this is one of the neat things about our church is we're a church field with Just meet people. And it's been so good in the Oaks Interactive to hear from a few of those people during this this time period. So, anyway, I hope that moving forward, um, that will have more times like this. Even at church were able to hear people in here about their stories. So anyway, Jonathan, we love you guys. I
love you too, man. Going.
Okay, Take care. All right, man, that is wonderful. Thank you, Jonathan. We should do appreciate you shared with us. Well, listen, before we wrap up today, uh, I just want to lead you in the Lord's Prayer and we're gonna We're gonna go to the Lord in prayer. My encouragements for you, toe. Pray with me. And I have a verse that we're gonna kind of say together and then we'll be done for the day. But, um, if you were just pray was laying from Josh home, okay? This is how you should pray. It says you ready? Our father in heaven hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as We also have forgiven our debtors and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. A man a man. Here's a verse forced today, Um, we're gonna do this in a responsive style. I'll read the first part and act after I read the part that's underlined. I want you to say the part that's underlined. Okay, so let's do this together. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You know, once said that together I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should g o for to you I entrust my life. Let's say that together to you I entrust my life when we do. Lord, we make that our declaration. Today we put our trust in you and we entrust our lives. Teoh. Not today. If you want to give, go to the oaks dot org's slash giving. And, uh, you can give their or texting amount 2424 Oaks give and also stilled in your guests via check the Oaks Church 22 01 executive part Dr Open. Like a 368 award. Finally, let me just declare this over. You may the Lord bless you and keep you Make his face shine on you and turn to you and be gracious team and give you peace. You guys have a great day. Thanks for contributors and we'll see you sing.