Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

40 Seconds to Inner Peace with Steve Gardner #92

May 08, 2023 Fearless Faith / Steve Gardner Season 3 Episode 92
40 Seconds to Inner Peace with Steve Gardner #92
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
More Info
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
40 Seconds to Inner Peace with Steve Gardner #92
May 08, 2023 Season 3 Episode 92
Fearless Faith / Steve Gardner

Do you often forget that Jesus is with you in the boat when you face life’s storms?  Is your tendency to panic and worry before you pray?  Do you replace your sense of “peace” with panic?  If you answered yes to any of these questions this edition of Finish Strong is for you.

Steve Gardner realized that his sense of God’s presence was “underdeveloped.”  He wanted a greater awareness of God not only during the storms of life but all the time.  He set out on a journey to develop a plan to help him start and end every day with a deeper understanding of who God is and who he is in God’s eyes.  This journey resulted in the creation of a powerful, Biblically based, God inspired “prayer” that will help you achieve Inner Peace in 40 seconds.

Link to Steve Gardner’s book 40 Seconds to Inner Peace

Support the Show.

Fearless Faith Website
ffaith.org

To leave a review - Open Finish Strong on the Apple Podcast app and scroll down until you see "Ratings & Reviews". There will be a link to click so that you can "Write A Review"

Facebook
YouTube
Instagram

Finish Strong With Fearless Faith +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript

Do you often forget that Jesus is with you in the boat when you face life’s storms?  Is your tendency to panic and worry before you pray?  Do you replace your sense of “peace” with panic?  If you answered yes to any of these questions this edition of Finish Strong is for you.

Steve Gardner realized that his sense of God’s presence was “underdeveloped.”  He wanted a greater awareness of God not only during the storms of life but all the time.  He set out on a journey to develop a plan to help him start and end every day with a deeper understanding of who God is and who he is in God’s eyes.  This journey resulted in the creation of a powerful, Biblically based, God inspired “prayer” that will help you achieve Inner Peace in 40 seconds.

Link to Steve Gardner’s book 40 Seconds to Inner Peace

Support the Show.

Fearless Faith Website
ffaith.org

To leave a review - Open Finish Strong on the Apple Podcast app and scroll down until you see "Ratings & Reviews". There will be a link to click so that you can "Write A Review"

Facebook
YouTube
Instagram

Dan Wheeler:

How do you go through the storms of life? How do you handle them, we all face them, maybe you're facing one right now, maybe the breakup of a relationship, or you've had a large investment that's gone bad or maybe worse, you have experienced the death of a loved one or severe illness. Well, we're going to explore the storms of life and how we can achieve peace. In the midst of them. We have a very smart, talented wise author who's with us today. And we're going to introduce him in a second. But his book is right here. I want you to write this down. 40 seconds to inner peace. It's available on Amazon, you can pick up your copy, I highly recommend you do that. And as I said, we're about to meet the author. I'm Dan Wheeler, host and finish strong along with Terry Steen and Brian Rowland, guys, we all face the storms in life. The question is, how do we find peace in the midst of those?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, that's a big question, isn't it? And you know, the reality is, it's kind of our report card, isn't it? Can we maintain peace during the storm? Because if we have the peace, that means we're walking in the Spirit, which is a fruit of the peace, of course, being a fruit of the Spirit. It's not always easy during the storm. But as we have that spirit, it kind of tells a story, doesn't it? Yeah,

Brian Roland:

it's such a timely book too. Because right now, how many people do not have inner peace? They have angst and other Yeah, they're just going completely the opposite direction. So it's a perfect book for them. Well,

Dan Wheeler:

I'm excited to introduce a longtime friend with whom I recently reconnected, his name is Steve Gardner. Steve, welcome to finish strong. You're looking good.

Steve Gardner:

Thank you. You guys are awesome.

Dan Wheeler:

Steve, in his wife, Maria, for a long time formed a well known singing duel Christian singing duel, named Steven Maria. And today he's an author, editor, songwriter. And guys, I hear he's a pretty decent pickleball. Player. Good. So Steve, you and your beautiful wife, Maria. 25 years you were traveling, and you recorded 16 albums, and had a great career. But now it appears and it is quite evident that God's called you to be a writer, because you are very good luck.

Unknown:

Well, I thank you, you know, that's something I think probably beginning my senior year in high school in a philosophy course, that just began to be a deep desire for me. In fact, there are times I would cry, even thinking about it. And it's taken this long to, I don't know, for things to come together and, and actually create something.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, Moses had to wait a long time.

Brian Roland:

Our parents had to wait a long time for us to come through.

Dan Wheeler:

And in Habakkuk, two, we read, wait on the vision. And so when God has our vision, it comes to fruition here is your newest book, 40 seconds to peace, go to Amazon right now, and place your order you won't be disappointed. This book is chock full of wisdom. And Steve, I want to set the stage for why you wrote this book, in your own words, you said that your occasional awareness of God's presence in presence in your life. And so is your degree of trust in Him? And, you know, I think we all get to that point. But this realization really led you on a journey to write this book, I assume?

Unknown:

Yeah. Well think about it for a minute. When we think about awareness of God in our lives. There is a constant awareness in one sense, but when I think of just imagine, for instance, you're in a room with another person in the room, you're really aware of that person, because every time you look up, you see the person and it's it's really obvious. And so there is a very present, front of mind kind of conscious awareness. I don't experience that with God in the same way. I am connected to him. I have surrendered my life totally to him from a very young age. And yet, I get so involved in what I'm doing, not just on the pickleball court, but with pretty much anything you know, I am focused, focused, concentrating, and God is there somewhere, but he is certainly not in the front of my mind. Well, when he is those moments where he is in the front of my mind, I recognize there's a totally different quality of life. And so one of the things that occurs to me is couldn't die experience that more frequently than I have. Simply because I'm in a pattern doesn't mean I have to stay in that pattern. What if? Once every three or four hours, I was really consciously aware of God's presence? What if, once every hour, I was really consciously aware of his presence and intimately communing with him? What if once every 30 May, you know, and it goes on or not, but so the point was, I realized I need to do something about this, it is not just taking care of itself. And so I decided for the next several years, however long it takes, I need to work on being more consciously aware, more of the time of his presence in my life, and I've really got to increase my level of trust in Him. Because I tend to be one who it's like, Okay, God, tell me what your plan is. And if I really get it, and I think it's a good one. And it's better than my plan, I'll sign. Ridiculous. Talk about maybe some more later, but Oh, yeah. So it really was. That was probably the beginning. And I'd say that was about seven years ago. Now, when that first realization struck me. And I said, for the next several years, those are going to be the two focal points in my life, I really need to turn that around. Okay,

Terry Steen:

so that's interesting, Steve, because as we get talking into your book here, and evaluating that you develop this credo, or basically it was a prayer, this powerful prayer, that we want to break it down line by line, and let you talk about that for a little bit. But is that something How did God reveal that to you was that over the course of this seven years? Or was that something that was kind of instantaneous, where it just came to you, and it just started flowing?

Steve Gardner:

Well, you know, it sounds a little funny to say this, but it was actually some of both, I think that there was a lot of stuff in the background, I was working on a book about assumptions, and how clusters of assumptions affect our decision making, and really operate in our subconscious intuition. And so dealing with this whole concept of assumptions, the ones that are flawed that we're sometimes not even aware of, and the ones that we want to replace them with that are really solid and good. There was a lot of this stuff, I think, floating in my head. But what happened was, Maria waking up one morning, and in our devotional time in bed, praying as we normally do, she just kind of blurted out, I am absolutely overtaken by fear, and really need some help. Now, let me give a little background. Oh, my goodness, 40, some years ago, she slipped into a pretty serious depression. And you have to realize she wasn't living in a vacuum, you know, she had to live with me, I'm a we'd already been married 12 years at that point. And so 12 years of living in the pothole path with me, takes its toll, right. And this depression was a devastating thing to both of us. And I mean, we went to counseling, we sought all kinds of help. After about three years, we got to the other side of it. And yes, there was some medication involved that really helped balance some of her chemistry. And it's been great ever since. But then suddenly, she's really feeling fears again. And so I'm asking, Well, what kinds of fears are we talking about? And there was a combination of things, some of it after 28 years of being full time on the road is Christian concert and recording artists. And then that suddenly is no more there's a loss of identity, you know, and some sense of how and why do I matter? And there was some fear that maybe she would lose her attractiveness to me and somehow lose me. Whoo, man, that's crazy. And I think just these fears brought a little bit of a shadow of another fear that perhaps depression might return and overtake her. And of course, you know, neither of us wanted that. And so, I I started just off the top of my head, going to what I would think of Have as my default in a sense thinking about who God is who we are starting with our identity, because that's kind of the basis for everything, and particularly God's identity. And so I started just reeling some things off. And before long, she said, Wait, wait, wait, wait, gotta write this down. I can't remember all this. And so we began together, writing it down. And that was the genesis really of the book.

Terry Steen:

Wow. That's neat.

Brian Roland:

I was gonna ask about the credo. But I got I have something that I wrote down here. I have it on starting your chapter three, about the two questions that you start with. You ask about the two important questions. What? What do you dream about wishing you could happen? And what do you worry about? What is behind the occasional dull ache in the pit of your stomach? Wow. Is there a reason why you started with those two questions?

Unknown:

Well, because I think we're driven by something that's pretty important to us, usually. And when we think of peace, we often think of what causes its absence? Well, it's fear. And yes, that's true. But fear is more than just a single edged sword. It's not just the bad things that could happen to me. There is also the fear that relates to what if I am never able to realize my dreams? What if the things that I ache to do inside and really think that God has called me to do never materialize? Well, that's a different kind of fear. But it's one that we often don't address. And so when we get to the very final statement of the seventh in the credo, which is cast every care, I cast every care on you. We're very careful to identify that those are both the fears, but also the dreams, the ambitions, the heartthrobs, the things that we really want to see happen and believe should happen. But we have this gnawing fear that maybe they never will, because the time hasn't come yet.

Brian Roland:

It's true that you said on the next page, you do not need to cycle analyze yourself that transform your life love that. You can gain awareness and routine realignment with truth that leads to inner peace, even before you understand how it

Unknown:

all works. Oh, yeah. Well, I'm a big one for understanding I have been all my life, I desperately want to understand. And in part, it's because I don't want to take ill advised steps or bad advice. When it comes to God, it's a different matter, you know, I've got to surrender that pattern. But fortunately, when particularly when we are following his call, and what he is leading us to do, man, we've got to act before we have full understanding, because often, the understanding doesn't come until the action, you know, it's in obedience. Often, just imagine, imagine you're an expert of some kind. And you have an apprentice. And this apprentice wants to understand every step along the way before doing what you tell him to do. There are times when you know, that if he will just do what you say, the understanding will just blossom right in front of him. I mean, it'll be as obvious as it can be, you won't need to explain it. And you want that for him. You want that experience for you. You just want him to, to obey and to do something. And if he steadfastly refuses, until you've spent an hour and a half explaining everything along the line, and he finally says, Okay, I get it, I will comply. Now, you don't want an apprentice like that for long. That's somebody that that you can't really use. Well, God wants us to be ambassadors of his who will do what he says. And sometimes before understanding, okay,

Dan Wheeler:

that the name of the book is inner 40 seconds to inner peace by Steve Gardner, G AR D ner. Go to amazon.com Pick up a copy because guys, we're over halfway. We haven't gotten to the credo. So Steve, we got to shorten it up a little bit. We're gonna keep moving. Good stuff, though. You develop the credo. And when we focus on it, it becomes if we focus on prayerfully we can achieve that inner peace that we seek, would you mind reciting the credo for us and then we're going to break it down line by line.

Unknown:

Yeah, because we do this every morning every night and sometimes during the day as it comes to mind you this is a prayer, you, the creator of everything are sovereign, providential and redemptive. That's God's identity. I I am your loved child, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and being transformed daily. I choose to trust you and your plan before understanding it. Thank you for your good plan, and how you are working it out in my life. repenting of all known sin, I choose to live fully forgiven. I forgive everyone for everything. I cast every care on you. Wow, wow. 40 seconds or less 75 words? Wow,

Dan Wheeler:

you. The first line is about God's identity. You I guess, was that an obvious place for you to start right there? Yeah, it really

Unknown:

was. Because when you stop and think about it, everything begins and ends with him. He is before all things. Well, in fact, you know, let me just if I could let me read a couple of sentences here from from the first part of the chapter that deals with God's sovereignty. God is before all, no one tells him what to do. No one limits his power. No one can prevent his goodwill from accomplishing his good plan. All else finds its place within his blueprint serves its purpose within his plan, and bends its knee at his command, even Satan. So if we start somewhere else, you know, we're on shaky ground, we want to we want to build a on a on a foundation of rock something that is solid, something that is all encompassing. And if he is the creator of everything, man, there is nowhere that he isn't present. And so that's the beginning point, it seems to me of the logical beginning point for everything else.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. And sometimes, Steve, it's easier for us to understand God's identity than it is to understand our own sometimes, isn't it? Many people go through life just trying to find their identity? Look at the culture today, look at the generation that's growing up now that can't seem to find their identity. So that second line, you explain it so well, that we're a love child, redeemed by the blood of Jesus transformed daily. Tell us about that, that line?

Unknown:

Well, how am I going to define myself if I don't begin with what God says about me? So I mean, you know, we go to the Word and say, Okay, what does God say about me? How? How does he see me that's got to be front and center in all of this. And so redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. You know what redeemed means? It means bought back. You think of like a pawn shop, you can you can pawn something, you no longer have ownership rights to it until you pay a redemption price to get it back. Our redemption price was death, because sin and death were what? The wages of sin. I mean, that's, that's what we deserve. And so the blood of Jesus shed to redeem us, brought us back from slavery to the enemy. And then God turns around and begins transforming us from a polluted fallen creature, to the image of his own son. Little by little he does it daily, sometimes we get a little uptight because it doesn't happen all at once. And we see ourselves two steps forward, one step back, and that gets frustrating. God is constantly in the process of redeeming and transforming us. And that redemption, you know, there's, there's more to it than just buying us back from death and slavery. He also this is the amazing thing to me how he is able to redeem even our mistakes, our miscues the things we do wrong. That's part of his ability, unique ability to turn all things for good. No, I don't get how he's able to do that. But I know that he is, and that's part of his redemption.

Brian Roland:

Well, Steve, the next line deals with trust, what you call the act of faith, I need to be in a relationship with God. It says, I choose to trust you and your plan before understanding it. And this can be a major struggle for people.

Unknown:

Yeah. Well, if I were choosing to trust another person, there would be different criteria involved. But when it comes to choosing God, first of all, I think you probably have to ask yourself, Is he trustworthy? Is he trustworthy regardless of my temporary circles? stances is his plan, trustworthy. And we know from Scripture that his plan was determined and guaranteed before creation. So if God is trustworthy, if he is sovereign and providential and redemptive, all of those things that I desperately need, if he is all of those things, and His plan is determined and guaranteed before creation, then I want to play that plan. I want to be in the middle of that, before understanding it, because it's going to turn out well. And my pseudo understanding, often fails me.

Dan Wheeler:

And then the next step seems logical from trust, you move into gratitude. And you said, how thankful you are when you're in the middle of that plan?

Unknown:

Yeah, it seems to me that my happiness, you know, we all want to be happy, I think probably, we would all say we want peace as well. But happiness is a little more of a shining object out there that we grabbed for, maybe sometimes not recognizing that happiness can't be sustained without deep inner peace. But I really believe that my happiness is dependent on my gratitude, and it cannot exceed it cannot exceed my gratitude. So right, when I learned to express gratitude, and for that to be on my lips, and on my mind, that's part of my desire to be more constantly aware of God, because right in hand in hand with that is a natural sense of gratitude. God is so incredible, so loving, so caring, even when I am hurting, that gratitude is the natural result of close intimacy with Him. And so when I am grateful, happiness is present. And when I am not grateful, happiness typically is absent. So, so I want that to be one of the first things on my lips. And I have a problem sometimes being impatient.

Dan Wheeler:

No, none of us have no problem. You hurry up.

Unknown:

I hate messes. I hate it. When I spill something. I hate it when I break something. I hate it when the computer doesn't work the way it's supposed to. And in those moments, I think there is some kind of deep seated. Oh, what's the word I'm trying to think of when we think we have something coming to us when it's owed to us?

Dan Wheeler:

We're expecting?

Unknown:

Yes. Yeah, yes. Entitled in. That's it exactly. entitlement. There's some kind of entitlement going on. And it is not gratitude that's large and in charge at that moment. And so that's when I need to step back and say, okay, cool down, gardener and realize that God is allowing even this trial, as part of your tempering part of your training, part of his process of reforming you, transforming you into someone that he can use more and more and more in greater ways, because that's really what I want my life to be about.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. Well, that's interesting that you go from that gratitude, and then you finish up with action plan, there's always something we need to be doing, right? Yeah, sure, is three thing you could have chosen for an action plan. How did you come up with these three, repenting of all of your known sins, forgiving everybody, and then casting our care on him?

Unknown:

Well, and my walk at least, they're just huge, both in benefit when I'm there, and as stumbling blocks when I'm not. And so we constantly have a need to repent because we are constantly falling short, we're missing the mark. And so repenting, of course, is not just simply confessing but it's turning away from all sin. And so, having repented. Now, the next step is for me to choose to live fully forgiven, because Satan is going to turn around as soon as he's tempted me, and I give in. He's only partly done, he's going to turn around then and accused me and condemn me and try to get me to believe that God will not forgive it. Or that if God does forgive it, it's all for naught because it's just going to turn around and happen again. I mean, he's got all kinds of tricks up his sleeve. And so, living fully forgiven recognizes that God's forgiveness is real. And then obviously, the very next step is go It expresses that forgiveness to us. And he actually requires us to turn around and extend that to others as well. Many Scriptures tell us that. And so when I realized that there are no exceptions to forgiveness, that all forgiveness, including the forgiveness I have received from God is undeserved. I have no excuse left for not forgiving someone else. And when I think you know, there was a, there was a list I put in here, just asking people to kind of prompt their thoughts. who owes you an apology? Who hasn't repaid their debt to you? Who has said untrue things about you, who insulted you in a way that really hurt? Who holds power over you, who has hurt your career ambitions? Who has cheated you financially, who has cheated you in games, or sports or a hobby who stole the person you thought would be the love of your life? Who has been unfaithful to you, who has sued you? Who has injured you due to negligence? Who has hurt your children? And there's a longer list of of these kinds of things? What follows are people who you could easily say, don't deserve your forgiveness. And you would be exactly right. And yet, if you do not forgive them, not only are you disobeying God, you're not realizing that all forgiveness is undeserved, including your own. Right, and you are just injuring yourself by hanging on this, you know, forgiving is not giving license to lawlessness forgiving is just taking someone off my hook, and putting them on the hook of the only righteous judge who knows beginning from the end, who is the only one who knows at all, and can perfectly judge and that's God Himself. And so we take them off our hook, put them on his hook, let him deal with it. That's his business.

Brian Roland:

You know, Steven says Your goal is not to just have people memorize this credo, but to develop a habit of it actually, you said that's resetting if you're praying?

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah, you can say anything, by rote memory. And it become a mindless repetition, whether it's scripture or prayer no matter what it is. And so I deliberately when I am reciting this to myself as a reset, in a sense, and emotional, spiritual reset morning, evening, and sometimes in between, I do it consciously thinking about sometimes each word, sometimes each phrase, but typically, there are certain things that will stand out to me, that's what I need to focus on. This time. We're in this moment, and it is thoughtful. Yes.

Dan Wheeler:

Boy, we're just about out of time. But Steve, would you mind just reciting that credo one more time? And, and one real quick question. How did you know it seems all encompassing, but how did you ever give up and say, That's it? That's everything I need. I mean, because he could have gone on and on and said, Oh, maybe I should add more. Yeah.

Unknown:

Well, and in conversation with other people, I'm sure probably some other things would come up and maybe I would say, Okay, I need to add a number eight or nine or 10. But seven seemed like a good complete number 10. With these, for me, at least, or the comprehensive the bottom line issues that I need to deal with, and that I thought Maria and I together needed to deal with. So that was it. So yeah, we'll start start at the top and those, those Theologica This is practical theology, those theological terms, sovereignty providential, redemptive, Boy, those really are good word studies to get into. Okay, so here's the prayer. Okay. You are the creator of everything, our sovereign, providential and redemptive. I am your loved child, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and being transformed daily. I choose to trust you and your plan before understanding it. Thank you for your good plan, and how you are working it out in my life. repenting of all known sin, I choose to live fully forgiven. I forgive everyone for everything. I cast every care on you.

Dan Wheeler:

Amen. Wow, man, the book is right here. You need to pick it up. You will not regret it. This could really change your I think it will take your faith and your Christian walk to a higher level. And I'm not saying it just because Steve is an old friend. I haven't seen this guy in 50 years but this book really spoke to me 40 seconds to enter piece by Steve Gardner. Go on Amazon and we're going to have a link to that book on our podcast. Steve, I'm going to ask you to hold tight, stay backstage. But you've been a great guest. And thank you so much for being on this edition of finish strong. We really appreciate it.

Unknown:

Thank you, Dan, Terry, Brian, really appreciate you guys and John to meet you, Steve.

Brian Roland:

Can see Yeah,

Terry Steen:

good.

Unknown:

Hey, we got to hook up a Florida one of these days.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, we're gonna do that. Play. Pickleball.

Terry Steen:

There you go.

Dan Wheeler:

I like it. With the weather we've been having here in Michigan, I'm going to be down there sooner than later. So Steve, hanging out backstage, we so appreciate you being with us. It's been a real blessing. So guys, you know, we always talk about how can we apply what we've been hearing what we've been talking about to finish strong. We don't want to spend our golden years in a rocking chair or on the golf course or even on the pickleball court, as much fun as it might be. But, boy, at our age, achieving Inner peace is it's harder than than what I thought it would be. Because where we are in life has its own unique set of challenges.

Brian Roland:

Yeah. You know, it's what you said is so true, then, because we keep going back and our own minds, I know, I do go back to things like, I know I'm forgiving. But you keep beating yourself up on things over and over and over again. And, and that creates havoc, and that creates turmoil in your life. And I really love this this prayer. I think it's just it really hits on every cylinder in my mind book too. And, yeah, it's just something that I'm trying to, I'm not good at memorizing, but I'm doing my best and I will have it down.

Terry Steen:

Amen. Terry and I What are your thoughts? I think that one of the greatest byproducts and benefits of being a Christian beyond eternity in heaven, is that accessibility of peace here on Earth, and he talks about peace that we can't even understand it goes beyond our comprehension that's available to us. And it's a hard thing as we talked, it's a hard thing to grasp, but it's there for us. And the key is to not try to find it within ourselves, but seek the spirit in a greater way. And then the peace comes over us. And when we experienced that in the situation where we know we normally wouldn't have it, then that's the aha moment that we realize how much peace his Spirit can give us. And hopefully this book will allow people to kind of get a sense of that kind of follow the journey to that piece.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, you know, everything in it. Every word is so important. It's so great. But one thing that really stood out to me is right in the middle, I choose to trust you in your plan. Before understanding it as humans, we always want to understand we want to say Okay, so what's the plan here? Now? What am I going to do now? What are you going to do? But we need to just trust and put our hand in his hand. Yeah, and say I trust you. Even though I may not understand all the things that are going on right now. I know you have my best interest in mind. And I love the way he started with God's identity and our identity, and then the trust and then the gratitude, and then the action of living forgiven and forgiving others and casting our care on him. Yeah. Yeah, I think God really gave Steve Gardner divine wisdom and writing this book. Yeah. So here it is. 40 seconds to inner peace by Steve Gardner on Amazon and we will have a link on our podcast that guys has been a great addition of finished strong. Yeah, another good one. We're quickly approaching our 100th episode and you're gonna want to stay tuned for that one. It's maybe five or six weeks off, we're gonna have some real surprises and some some big doings. It's gonna be great. Well, we thank you so much for joining us and we look forward to having you with us on our next edition of finished strong.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finished strong and fearless faith. Check out their website F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong