Whiskey & Wisdom

Slowing down with TJ Dunn

June 29, 2022 Tyler Yaw Episode 21
Whiskey & Wisdom
Slowing down with TJ Dunn
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Show Notes Transcript

TJ Dunn comes on this week for a great episode. We talk about the goats he purchased during COVID, how fashion is an important part of his life and business, and most importantly we discuss his walk with God and how faith plays into his life. There's something for everyone on this episode.

If you enjoyed it share it with a friend and give us a review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, it really helps!

This week we were sippin' on Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
To sip Barrel Proof is to experience Bourbon in its purest form: uncut, straight from the barrel, and without chill filtering. Each bottle is hand labeled with its unique proof and batch number; but the nose, taste, and finish are pure Elijah Craig.

How to find TJ:
@iamTJDunn

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@whiskey.and.wisdom

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How to find us:
Whiskey & Wisdom: @whiskey.and.wisdom
Chris Kellum: @ctkellum
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Tyler Yaw: @tyler_yaw_
LinkedIn: Tyler Yaw

You guys welcome back to podcast excited. Pretty much. I know. I'm sorry. it's a vibe. So welcome back everybody. This week we have on the man of the hour, most requested person of Wilmington, North Carolina, and I'm not exaggerating and I'm not building you up. It's just the truth. Yes. It's so funny because everybody's like, Hey, do you know TJ? I was like, well, yes, I know of TJ. I, I don't hang out with him, unfortunately. Oh, we can hang out. I know I'm I'm, I'm literally like a small, I go home. I go to work. I really don't leave except to come here. All right. I can't take the blame for that one though. No, that's right. I don't, you don't come out. That's no longer on you. but you guys, this is TJ dun TJ what's up. Welcome to the podcast. Ah, I appreciate Chris. Enjoy being here. It's an honor. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. And TJ was gracious enough to bring his own favorite whiskey onto the podcast today. Yeah. You know, I, I feel like if I'm I'm honor and blessed to be here, I just wanna bring something to bring to the table. Now's some value to it. I brought the Lizer Craig barrel proof. It's one of my favorites, as I was telling you guys it's um, I drink a lot of bourbon. I love bourbon. Yeah. I pretty much drink water, bourbon and coffee. Yep. and this one I got is about 136 proof. So I like it cuz it slows me down. Like. You sip on it and you gotta sip it slow. Yeah. You feel it. It's just, you know, when, whenever I drink it, I'm just kind of in the moment I'm not drinking it just to drink it. I'm like it's, there's something special you need to chill out. Right? Take the moment in, enjoy the company. Turn off the phone, put your thumbs away. no, this one is nice. Apparently we found this out barrel proof. This batch actually strength, ranges anywhere from 1 28, all the way to 142 proof. So you can definitely wow. Feel a little bit more than some of the other stuff we've tried in here. It's interesting. Cuz there are some caramel and butterscotch along with the black pepper and cinnamon, which you'll kind of taste, which I can kind of feel that yeah. A little heat on the back end. But yeah, it's nice. Super classic. And one of these days we'll go over and explain the difference between barrel proof and. Single batch and all that. Keep your eyes on Instagram. I'll probably eventually post about it. go for that. I'll just drink it. Yeah. Take your word for it. Yeah. What do you say for sure? Whatever. Pour me another cheer. Well, thanks are coming on. Cheers. Cheers. I dunno. Do we actually do uh, you guys can't see what we're dodging microphones. Yeah. you're so right. You get the true flavor of it, but you do have to kind of slow down to drink it. I mean, I, I can feel like coat my chest itself, like spark its way down, but like slow and smooth and yeah, I'm not running through that, right? Yeah. It's, it's definitely a different taste than what we've had. Cuz even like a small sip, you can TA feel it like floating around in your mouth. Like the vapors and the aroma. Yeah. I kind of taste everything. I feel like when it hits my tongue, it just starts to expand like covers you. Like, I don't know. Visually like watching what is it like venom, like how it just takes over. 'em like, when I sip this, it just starts taking over my tongue working way down throat. You just feel it working. I love it. Love it. That's actually a really great analogy for it. That's that's kind of what I, I still wanna scare people away from that's what I like. Is it the good venom, you know? Yeah, right. Yeah. Don't think of the scary way, but just like just slowly taking over for the body, kind of feeling it. Go through you. Yeah. I like it. Yeah. So good. I appreciate it. Bringing on. No problem. Thank you guys for indulging me sharing it. Absolutely. Ain't no fun. The homes can't have none. yeah. So we brought on Catherine Brunner a couple weeks ago, Catherine. Yeah. And I was, we always ask who should we bring on next? And TJ's. You're TJ. Katherine said you should bring on TJ. And I was like, what should we talk to TJ about? I, I mention him passing before with Aus another gentleman that we brought on podcast. Man. I love that, man. Oh man. He CLEs women team clean. Yeah, man. He amazing. I could talk about him for hours, but anyway, Katherine she was like, when you bring him on talk about the goats. Oh, so let's talk about the goats. Let's talk about 'em man. They're they're my little goons as I call 'em. I got bebopping rock steady. Yeah. You know, it's funny. I've been sitting on those names for like 12 years. like literally cuz uh, like yeah, some friends, I had a friend in college, man. Her parents had this cool cabin, like in the woods and they just had these goats roaming around. I mean you just sit there and they, they do their own thing. Like, I mean, they're coming up to you for food, but other than that, they're headbutting each other, jumping off stuff, man. Bad, all that stuff head. I mean, it's just. It's just a blast. So like, actually when I bought my house in when did we get like 2018? I immediately put up a goat fence because I was like, I hate cutting grass. I eventually get goats, never got 'em until COVID happened. I like, I was like, woman, I'm finally getting these goats. She's like, all right, if you want to, I don't really like them. You know, I don't know what they're gonna do, but I mean, as soon as we got 'em in, they just, they just, we built them a playground. They got their own little shack with their bebopping rock steady poster. Oh yeah. And got a Seesaw. I mean, it's just entertainment. I mean, one of the cool things is going on, like in a nice evening, sitting a glass of bird and just watching do their thing. They're just hopping around, helping edge the grass. So, you know, you get a little bit of work out 'em, you know? Right. and I hear that their poops really good for fertilizers. So if somebody wants something, we've got tons of it. I believe it. So my parents just bought about 50, 60 acres out in supply, North Carolina. They were talking about buying some goats too. So what would you tell my parents for buying goat? I mean, if, if you care about it, don't put 'em near it. like, I mean, like, if you want them just to, if you got a big lot for them just to eat grass and you sell. Yeah. Like, I mean, one of, I mean the only downside is like, yeah, I wanna plant like some bamboo in my backyard or plant some Rosemary. I'm like, Nope, that's food for goats. I mean, they're gonna eat anything green and you know, but that's a cool thing about 'em, you know, like actually, actually people who own a pack of goats and they'll put 'em on people's lands just to like actually to, to till up all the debris and stuff like that. Cause they'll go through it. You do have to kind of pin 'em in cuz you know, they're just. They're like on a buffet, they just eat, walk, eat walks. So it's actually pretty funny. My wife and I we'll take 'em for walks in the neighborhood yeah. On the leash and people passing by and they're like, Hey, they waved. Then they slam on breaks. They're like, whoa. I thought that was a dog. where'd you get those ghost? Or is that real? Like, but like they just walk and eating, they'll grab a plant. And it reminds me of like playing Mario and like, Oshi like, you're just running through eating turtles and that's just what they do. So, I mean, you can like pit 'em in, in a certain area and have 'em just clear the land. So I just say, you know, just make sure that you don't want them. You don't have anything that you don't want them to destroy and then just have a fence up. Cuz they are curious they'll they'll work their way out. I was actually told um, that they couldn't jump the four foot fence like that weekend we had 'em man. One of 'em jumped to just start walking this little fence post and they're just walking it like a cat and I'm like, and I'm freaking out, man, cuz I'm like, dude, I built this whole playground paradise for these. If he jumps on that other side of the fence, we are done. And like my friends are just laughing at me. Like TJ's gonna cry that go runs away. And I was like, I am, I am. Cause I was told he couldn't jump it. And. Man. Luckily he jumped back in on the other side and that next Sunday, like me and my wife, we like extended the fence. Like we spent all Sunday doing it and like, we don't have kids. And you know, we actually missed church that day. And I was like, you know what? Like, I really feel for those parents who Ms. Church, because their kids don't know how to act. I finally know what that's like, you know, I couldn't go to church that Sunday cuz he trying to keep these goats fenced in though. But they're, they're fun. They're a blasting. We got one on the way we got shredder. Cuz you gotta have that trifecta. So I'll have BBO of course rock steady and shredder my goons from the ninja turtles. So pretty pump I'm I'm glad you, you bring that up too because I just got a new protein shaker and it's the the turtles protein shaker from ghost and so I bought that and then I had a few people comment on it and they're like, oh I love this shaker. Like you can't be teenage mu ninja turtles. Nah, it's cool. When like when people know like when I talking like, well what's the name of your ghost? I was. Be bopping, rock steady. You're like, oh, oh yeah. When it just goes to their head, I'm like, well, it's still cool to me. Yeah. I know what it means. I tell, I didn't miss meet one person. I always thought I had like the coolest name for goats. Yeah. And I met this one girl. She's like, yeah. I had goats when I was younger. I was like, yeah, but what were their names? And she was like, kid in play. I was like, oh, that's good. that was good. All right. Yeah. I was like, that was good. I'm not mad at myself, but you know, that's man, I'm a little jealous but then you get stuck cuz you're like, what do I name the others? Like, do I have to keep going like with their friends or just keep naming off random people? Yeah. Yeah. That's why I'm gonna stop at three. mastered it. You know, it's a good chick. I think, I think three's a good number before. You're crazy. You know, it's. Sounds judgemental, but it's like, you know, people with bumper stickers on the back of their car, like you got three after you go over three and my wife has more than three, so I make fun of her too. So, I mean, forgive me if I hurt your feelings, but I've did it to my wife. I'm like, once you go over three bumper stickers, you're expressing a little bit too much. let's have a conversation about a few of the other things, you know? True. Why do you need this many stickers? Yeah. Everywhere. Everywhere. So now that we got into the, the goats, so how did you get to Wilmington, North Carolina? So I got to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2009. My wife and I, we had both pretty much graduated from college. Well, she graduated with her master's cuz she's super smart. She's a nuclear engineer had her. Oh wow. Yeah. Master's in nuclear engineering at 22 shit. I'm like, and I'm as meanwhile, it's taking me five years to get my bachelor's degree in business you know, but Hey, at least I know how to pick 'em you know? Yeah. that's all that matters. Yeah. I mean, and we actually been together since the 10th grade, so just kind of wow. It's yeah, it's been a long journey. But, you know, the economy went bad in 2009 and I'm such a city guy. I did not wanna leave Atlanta, Georgia. I was like, man, I got my business degree. I wanna see what I can become. We got music, we got fashion, we got sports, we got it all. And she's like, I wanna move to the beach. And I'm like, man, no, hurricane's happening. I don't wanna do that. But she had a good paying job and I was like, I guess she wins. Yeah. Trumps everything. Especially in 2009, I was like, oh, she's got a good paying job. And I just got a dream. let's be real. Let's be real. So yeah, we moved here in 2009. That's awesome. So I, I'm glad you bring up fashion with Atlanta, Georgia, because in all of Wilmington personally, I think you have the fashion. I appreciate that. Yeah. I mean, you're always looking a hundred percent, no matter where you go tell us where that kind of came. I don't know. I mean, I think, you know, the, the first thing I could pinpoint as far as with fashion is just like, be, I have an older brother mm-hmm and like, when you're the younger brother and you just see someone older than you, you want to be like them. So I think he was like a year and a half older than me where it's like, you know, at that point he's wearing something a little bit nicer, cuz that's what you do. You know, maybe he's trying to get a girl and I'm just like, I could be in my gym clothes, but he looks cool. I wanna be like that. And I, and there's always that as a kid, just me and him, like with shoes and stuff like that, but I just always just liked it, but that's kind of my first dabble into where I think I started liking to dress. Well. Yeah. Yeah. And it just kept going and going. I remember like I got voted best dressed in high school and just fashion to me. It's like, it, it is just a form of expression that I always have. I don't, I don't know if you guys know this, but actually in 2000, 2013, I actually started fashion week here. Okay. Yeah, it's a Wilmington fashion week. And how, the reason why I started that was because I actually had a job as a personal shopper. It's like, I love just looking good. Oh, like, what if I become like a personal trainer, but for fashion. And I was like, I labeled myself as a style consultant, cuz I just wanted to share the passion I have for it. The fun, the creativity, because to me every day I wake up, it's like, that's some new little thing that I get to. I get to do that. I care about. That brings me joy that no matter what, no one's gonna take that away. Cuz I ain't walking outta the house naked, you know so it's like, and just, it is just always been something to me where like, I just, I love making things, just look cool, look different. I still have stuff from high school. Yeah. Like I just don't know when it's gonna come back around. I have like a, a room that is mine instead of a guest bedroom. It's my closet. Yeah. That's awesome. You get the other guest bedroom. The one of it's my closet, but I just love to just look around and just create it's visually like sometimes it's just in my head like, oh, we're going there tonight. I'm gonna wear this. It might rain. Ooh. Just in case we're gonna wear darker color. Cuz I want have a wet t-shirt contest out there you know, and my shoes are sway, so let's switch that out. We need something that's more accommodating to the rain. So it's just, it's it's just something I'm really passionate about. It's just, but it's fun. And it comes natural where it's like, someone's like, can you help me? I'm like, yeah. It's which I think that's how we are with our gifts, man. When you have a gift that you're passionate about, it's nothing for you to share it. Like if someone's like help me pick out an outfits, like cool. Let's do it. I do it effortlessly. And I it's nothing for me to bless you with that. And right. So this is fun. Yeah. To kind of bring everything together that we talked about just a few minutes ago is so Catherine had an event a few months ago and I had that ES come with me to that event. And before that S got there, I was kind of looking around and kind of like seeing what what's going on. Kind of filling out the vibe of the room and stuff. And you look in a hundred percent, like you always do. I was like, who is that guy? Like, I need, I need to go over him and meet that guy. Sometimes soon that ideas comes in and you guys come over and you're like, Hey, what's up? And I was like, I'm so glad that you met, like, you know, this guy, he's the icebreaker. Yeah. I was like, this makes it so much easier now. So yeah, that, that's kind of the how everything happened. Like for me anyway, meeting you and kind of how the trifecta worked between all, all three of you guys. Yeah. And that's one of the cool things about having like that gift of being able to put a look together is because people are seeing you, you know, it's a, I'm not doing it for attention, but it does bring attention, which is not a bad thing, depending on, you know, how you use that gift of attention. But it, it's cool to be able to do something that people instantly appreciate. Yeah. You know, some things that, you know, there are people with a lot of cool gifts, but some of them are, you know, like, like a teacher, like she may not see the fruits of her labor until she sees a student or he sees a student all grown up and stuff like that. But it's cool to. No, I put this together, instant, get some type of reaction, right. Or like for me too, it, it makes me memorable. Like, you know, in the business that I'm in, I'm always making connections and things like that. One thing that I bring to the tables, when I walk into the room, I'm gonna get notice. And I'm not saying that cocky. It's like, I just have a gift for that. You know, like if like you guys got a gift for putting this podcast together, I couldn't do that. You know, you know, like, Hey, I know what it takes to make this happen. So you're just like taking ownership of that. And so to me, it's, it's just a cool way of just being who I am, but like also willing to share it. But knowing that walking in authority in it, like, I think that that's the cool part about, it's like, yep. I, I know I look good not to say that, but I know I can do some cool things and add value to other places. Like whether it's, you know, being with friends on a trip and it's like, man, we need to meet some friends. I'm like, all right, I got this, you know, I'm go there wearing something funky. I'm gonna get some people talking to me and we'll meet some people and then boom, there we go. We're all having a good time. Yeah. I love it. So with that being said too, it's, it's a God given gift of yours. Yeah. And one of the reasons why I wanted to bring you on in something that I'm extreme, extremely grateful for personally, but you're not afraid to talk about your faith and your religion and how much God means to you. So that was another reason why I wanted to bring you on. So tell us about your, your walk with God, your walk with faith and how it got started, and then we'll build on that, man. That's a, that's a loaded question. yeah. I mean, it's like, like where do you really start? But I mean, I have to start with just being in awe and that, that you would even recognize that in me, because to me that's the most important thing, like, you know, is pursuing the Lord in. And sharing the Lord with others, you know? Yeah. Like, I mean, one time, like, I mean, I believe that holy spirit speaks to you. Mm-hmm and you know, I'm gonna just share what he shared me cuz he, I, I just hear his voice. He's like, you know, if, if, if you don't share who I am, it's either you don't believe or you're selfish or you're scared, you know, mm-hmm and it's like, if I, I mean, because you look at it as anything else, like, if someone's like, Hey, what's the weather like today we effortlessly tell 'em like, Hey, it's gonna rain. You might wanna take a jacket or right. Or if your car's broke down, you see, so someone trying to fix and you know that they're about to that chin go there. They're gonna mess up. You, you throw yourself out there. And it's like, man, if I truly believe that I serve a good God and that there's a heaven and a hell, I'm an asshole. If I don't share that. Yeah. And literally that's what he said. I wasn't gonna say it. I don't know if I could talk like that, but literally that's the way I heard. It's like, if you don't, if you don't share me either, you don't believe in me or you're an asshole because I'm keeping something away from someone else. Yeah. That could bring them joy that can enhance their life. In in as powerful, as much as I believe that he's my everything. And there's there there's a life after that. Like, I mean, this is much more bigger than what's the weather. Like the weather changes, we're talking about eternity, you know, and, and as you set gifts, it's like, those are the things that he's blessed me with. And I want to other people to feel free. Like I do. Yeah. And operate in whatever gifts and talents that they have. Yeah. That's amazing. It's very interesting because I see cuz I'm like that ghost on social media. Like I know people and I follow 'em like, you know, I wonder how they know each other cuz I know. Cuz you know, Lee Roberts mm-hmm and I'm like, how do they know each other? I know her from church mm-hmm and I was like that to me, that makes the connection is like you guys probably know each other from like networking, but you also, because you believe in the same similar things or the same thing that. Your circle actually overlaps. Does that make sense? Yeah. And you know, I also, for about three years, I worked at a church and man. Oh, okay. Next to, I mean, number one thing in my life is my faith. Number two is just, I love that. God put me with the alls and white, but number three was me work that seasoned me working at a church. Yeah. Because it, I just learned so much because one of the things that I feel like we're totally missing in culture right now is the opportunity just to fellowship with people of different ages. Yeah. You know, I feel like there's not a lot of things that makes a 13 year old talked to a, an 82 year old mm-hmm you know, and that's why, but like, for me, like I, I start developing relationships with guys. There were 10, 20, 30 years older than me, right. Like one of my best friends. He's 54 mm-hmm like I'm 37. I mean, he. Divorce has a couple kids. Me, I don't have kids. I'm, I'm very out there and active. Like we just live totally different lives. Yeah. But God brings us together, you know? And the wisdom, the love like that, dude's like my spiritual father, I'm gonna get move. You know, I'm talking about love you, Eric. But you know, like it helps cross those boundaries because that's what we need in life. Cuz like right now I feel like, you know, maybe some cultures could that I'm not a part of, maybe they really honor their elderly, but I don't think in America we really do. And I think the elderly feels inefficient because they don't know how to post anything on Facebook, but who really cares. And you could tell me how to save my marriage, you know, how to, how to do my finances and things like that. So that was one thing that was so amazing that when you talk about connecting people in faith yeah. Like where I can talk to a complete stranger, but God is the glue and that's actually what I tell people about marriage. Like cuz me and my wife we've been together since the 10th grade, we just celebrate it. 21 years, 21 years of dating about two weeks ago. And people are like, how I'm like, man, God's the glue and God makes me want to just die to myself. Like, you know, we just got another dog and I don't want him, but I love, love my wife. Like, you know, and it's like, man, look at it. I'm like you get on my nerves, but you know what, you're making her happy. And I told her every reasons that I don't want to want the dog, but I, but ultimately I was like, but if you want him, I want you to have him. And those are the things that like, when you look at, from the Christian standpoint, when you know that who Jesus is and that he sacrificially died. And my goal is to live. Like he lived it's like, how do I sacrifice? Like I sacrifice by getting a dog. I don't want mm-hmm I sacrifice by showing up to some place on time. I sacrifice by maybe hanging out with someone that I don't really want to, or someone saying something to me and just not saying something back, like just dying to yourself and which that is what makes these relationships gel. Like, you know, cause once you start doing that too, you start. Seeing other things in that person versus what you thought you knew or thought you knew it all, or like they just opened up some avenue going back to like working with the older, like with older people on staff at the church, you know, like hearing insight from their marriages, like mean I, at that time, like majority of my friends aren't married, like, and if they are like, we're all married at the same time, what kind of advice can they really give me? Have they been through the trenches? Yeah. Have they seen the trenches yet? right. And you know, so it's just, that's one thing that I think is really cool is just connecting people. There's always that spiritual connection in, in different ways, like, and even experiencing it in different countries, you know? Yeah. Like it's, we moved to England for a couple years and The first thing we did was find a church and just strange things started happening. They were like, you can, you can bring your dog to church. And we're like, why And they were like, we don't mind. And like, and we started doing it, but like that became like something that was very special to us. Wow. Like, cuz I didn't wanna live in England once again. I did it cuz my wife went through and God was like, it's a good way to love on her. Yeah. It was like two years. Like the military, you getting two and two on you know? But like we find a church and they just welcome us in. They let us bring her dog like we, and then like when we would travel we would never have to board our dog. They would like fight over who gets to watch her. Wow. So it's like just through that connection of people, you find ways of blessing. One another where like there's a running joke when we were living in England too, is like your dog went to church more Sundays than you because when we would travel, they would still take our dog to church with them. Cuz they all love seeing her in having her there's I know I went all over it, but I mean just the connection man, the connection of, of people, what it can do and there's, you know, faith is worldwide, you know, it's it's. Doesn't matter. You're a cold place. Hot place. Rainy place. Snowy place. Yeah, it's there. No, it's, it's good. You bring that up too. Especially with like God being the glue. The most people I know me know. I, I don't get emotional often. I, I don't cry often, especially in public. I don't really show much in public in general. And one of the times that I got most emotional in front of the most amount of people is when my sister and her now husband were getting married. And of course being the brother of the bride, I was handed a microphone and through all of I've always had a microphone in my hand since 15. So like, I was like, oh, I got this. And I stand up with my microphone. I make a few jokes and stuff. And I start talking about, I'm like, you're gonna go through tough times. Like, and I've only been married a few years longer than before she got married. And I was like, you're gonna go through tough times. But the one thing that sh. That you always know you're gonna come to and especially knowing both of you is God is gonna be the glue of your marriage. And as soon as I said that, I don't know what came over me, but just tears started pulling, pouring out of my eyes and people were looking at me like, oh my gosh, like he truly believes us cuz he never gets emotional. And so just having um, I think that was just a, like a God moment. I wasn't planning on saying that it just, it came outta my mouth though. The tears started coming and I just, I said what was, was on my heart to him for that day. So it that's one of the main reasons why I believe in God, it's just because like, those moments have happened to me more often than not. And at, just at the right times. Yeah. That's um, it's like when I was talking about the guy Eric earlier was my throat was about the crack, you know? Yeah. Like I'm, I'm not an emotional person, but there's certain things that really pull up my heart. And I think the, the main thing that pulls up my heart is God. Like when I see his grace in my life, the things I don't deserve, the things that make me go, ah, You know, like whether I don't deserve to be here, I don't deserve these relationships. It's just outta humility. Not like mm-hmm, like, I don't know, like I'm not special. Cause I am special. We're all special. Yeah. Like it's knowing that part. But when you like know that there's something greater than any person could have created on this earth that you ended up in that position. And generally too, when it happens to me, it's about others. Mm-hmm, it's like me thinking about those people and what they've done to me and been to me and what I want for them. It's it? It is never like, I mean, I'm not, I buy something. I'm not gonna cry about it, you know? Yeah. I mean, there there's things that happen. I just, I just, I'm not emotional guy, but I will, when it comes, there's certain things that tug on my heart that were just very important for that. I know it's of God. You okay? Yeah. You went down the wrong pipe, right? Oh, it's tough. When 1 36 goes down the wrong bike. Yeah. yeah. I've had that happen. We're in a serious moment. And then I was like, oh no, don't lose it. Yeah. So, because we're your circle of friends is I'm assuming most of them are, are following the God and like pretty much a lot of the concepts that you're believing in, correct? Nope. Oh, does that bother you at all? Nope. See so I like to point that out because a lot of people assume that like, oh, Hey, you know, if you believe in God that everybody in your circle or the people you have to hang out with all have to have the same beliefs. But I feel like I'm just making a point that TJ mm-hmm is definitely a beacon in his community. so like, if you're showing up and you're doing things that gives a good witness and people see that and they're like, okay, so he believes he does this, you know, eventually either they can ask questions or do things. But that also leads into you. On top of asking questions about God, it also asks questions about business and work. Yeah, no, I, I think it's fantastic. You bring this up now because just previous, the last episode that we dropped, we brought, we brought on a devout atheist. And one of the things that, the reason why I brought him on is the one thing that we do agree over is we BR believe in Liberty and freedom of choice and just being able to like not the government telling you what to do. So he's running for Senate on the libertarian ticket. And so the one thing I said the first time I ever felt proud that I voted for someone was Shannon bra and he's an atheist. And the reason why I was proud to vote for him is because even though he is an athe an atheist, that he will always fight for me to be a Christian. And that he'll always fight for me to have the Liberty to choose that. and I, I think that speaks a lot to our faith as well, too, because I know we both have a, probably a majority of friends that either don't believe in God or agnostic or whatnot. And I think one of the callings, at least for me, is live my life to show that I, I follow these principles and that I, I have this faith and not be to show it, but not be overbearing with it and to kind of show a walk. So I, I wanted to bring you on as well to kind of hear what your thoughts on were on, on that as well. Well, you know, there's, I think it starts with, first of all, just being who God created you to be mm-hmm you know, and where does that lead you? Who does that lead you around? Like, I mean, recall, you know, the great commissions to share the gospel and, and also Jesus and scripture talks about, you know, It's the sick that needs healing. Mm-hmm no, not that I'm looking down on everyone or anything like that. Like, but Hey, I'm quoting scripture. It is what it is. If you don't like it, take it up with God. Right. You know, but I am using, I am being who God created me to be around any and everyone. And that's what it looks like for me. Mm-hmm cause I'm, I'm, I'm loving on someone encouraging someone being there for someone because they're someone. Yeah. Like it has nothing to do with, because you're a believer. I mean, there's definitely a time for that. Like scripture talked about iron sharpen IERS I need my brotherhood. Absolutely. I have a Monday night Bible, I will say with a bunch of guys got a Friday morning Bible say with a bunch of guys, but I mean, those aren't even the guys I do life with. Yeah. Like, I mean, I, I, I hang out with, with any and everyone mm-hmm you know, and, and I wanna make myself available to be that person and to show it because I mean, Christians, we got a bad rap. I mean, one thing I, I just don't like it is, it's just a name. Like, it's just the name. Anyone can put that on a stamp on a t-shirt on a bumper sticker, you know, like anyone can put that, but you know, I, I, I wanna walk the walk in where I'm at, you know, I'm not telling people they need to be who I am and go out. I mean, I'm a, I'm a night owl and I'm up, I'm up late at night, out, late at night, downtown beach bars. And I'll be up at 6:00 AM, ready to work out. You know, that's just who I am. I, I know that's who I'd be, even if I didn't know who God was. Mm-hmm Yeah, but it's like, I'm going to, God has me in places and I'm just gonna glorify him where I I'm at in front of who I'm at. Like, I mean, and it's with your gifts and talents. I think that really bring people over. I don't. I can't win anybody over with my words. I mean, unless they're willing to have a conversation. Right. And I wanna always be that person that's like willing to have a genuine conversation, whether you're atheist, wherever you're at. Like, I love to have it with you. It's it's awesome. I think that's how you win people over versus me just standing up with the people who are like me holding a sign. Yeah. That's political. It's just not healthy, you know? Yeah. I don't care. What, what element you put it in? It's not really how doing life is, what shows that you actually care. And then I think it's the moment of people ask why mm-hmm that's why I'm like, boom. I'll tell you why. Yeah. Like cuz Jesus, what he did for all of us. Like, I mean, that's what blows my mind about Christianity more than anything is just, you know, there's a lot of religions, faith out there, but what makes it so special to me is when I think about, you know, if you were God, you know anybody, like you had a son, would you bring him to earth? And if you did, would you bring him to earth? That's the average Joe, right? Like, I mean, tho and then. Would you let him and he's pure. And would you let him be sacrificed like in a brutal way? Not like head chopped off, not drowning in the lake, which all those things are brutal, but he went through torture like for us, and even in that torture, I mean, like he, he wanted off that cross. He didn't want to be there. He asked before he goes to he's like, man, if there's any other way, like that shows his humanity, right? Yeah. To me when he's like, if there's any other way, like, cuz we're all like, man, there's any other way we can get around this. That'd be awesome, man. But I'm in, in awe of that. And to be able to share that with someone is, is, you know, cause people like what makes your faith different? What makes you truly believe her? I'm like, I man, cuz if I'm God I'm not dealing with y'all. Yeah. like you get on my nerves, I'm blowing you up. Right? Like, and if I had a kid, I'm not gonna let him get down there and get all rustled up with you guys. Imagine like, who would like, let your kid go in a room for a rowdy people. Right? Like unprotected, like who, who would do that? Like no, no one would do that. And then like, let them die. Like he could've just took him outta there. Mm-hmm you know, even Jesus himself said like, you know, I, I could have just the angels come and wipe you all out, but you know, he didn't do that. He walked it out. So that's one of the things too, that I'm inspired by when I go through hell times, it's like, it brings me back to the crucifixion. No, I have not dealt with anything as brutal, but lets me know that doing the right thing is not just easy. Like once you say yes, that could be a journey, right. That could be. Couple hours, weeks, years mm-hmm and that's, I'm in awe of that, of the savior. Jesus. So yeah, no, I agree. I agree with all of that, that's, that's kind of how I walk through life myself is just knowing everything that like the God who created the humanity that we have now to send his only son to be able to go through all of that. And like, no matter what you believe, there's many different religions that believe that Jesus existed and went on the cross, not just Christianity, a lot of religions, even history that doesn't believe in religion believes that this man walked the earth and went on across. So just knowing that that's the one thing that everyone agrees with and then being a Christian that knows that that happened. and believing like he's, the savior is like, whatever I'm going through is nothing compared to what that was. Well, I mean, that gives us this and I'm not like I'm not trying to play like a bigger card than someone else deals. Sure. These are things that like I have, like, God has given me wisdom in, in these tough conversations that I have with people. And that's one thing that I really love about talking about someone who questions my faith, because there are things that I did not think of until you asked me that question. So I'm thinking God for you approaching me with that question, because now I'm equipped with some wisdom. I got something else in my tool belt that I never had and I would've never had. And if you didn't ask me that question, but you know, one of the things I think about is that person who's hurting and they're just like, man, my friends suffered from this. My mom's got cancer. Like look at all the people getting murdered over here and there. And I'm like, that stinks. Absolutely mm-hmm but go back to Jesus. Like Jesus went through something really, really brutal. I mean, like I said, like he makes getting shot in the head, looks like a vacation. Yeah. Getting your head, cut off, look like a vacation. And it just gives me that sense of like, man, if my God is willing to do this, you know, I mean, the Bible says we will suffer, you know? Yeah. And to what level that's here or there, but it talks about we will suffer, you know, but knowing that God put his money where his mouth is with his own mm-hmm own perfect son. Like that just has to make you kind of like think at least it makes me think even if like, when I shared that with someone, even as I'm sharing it now, if, if it doesn't, if it falls on deaf ears, that's cool. But it's a reminder for me. So just for me to share that it's like, man, I'm have a rough day at work or my wife may be going through something. I may hate this dog still. Like I mean, but like, man, God went through the crucifixion, he was perfect and he loved me. And so he that's how, that's my strength to endure hard things is by looking at that cross. So, did you grow up in the Christian, like a Christian family or did, or is it something you found later in life? Huh? I, I wanna say both, but, so, I mean, yeah, you can say I grew up in it, but I guess the reason why I want to answer like that is like, I grew up going to church on Sunday is just something you did. Sure. Like, I remember me and my brother, man, we show up late cuz the music sucked and they were fighting over the, who gets to IUE because one of us trying to prop up and go to sleep, you know? Right. and, and like when you wake up and they just said, amen, you're like, yeah, time to just ride. Right. You know? And so, but I mean, I'm thankful for my mom and my dad, man. I'm thankful that they had, they have a faith and, and that faith actually made me as I became more of adult grow closer with them. So I grew up in it, but it was like, you know, you go off to college and now the ball's in your court. Sure. Mommy can't make you go to church anymore. You know, I still did. But then there's this moment of, and actually it was, it was in a brokenness moment that I really like. First time. I heard God. I remember the first word I heard from God. And the broken moment was like, I told you, me and my wife been together since the 10th grade. Well, we parted ways like the junior year of high or college. And it's, you know, everyone's growing up getting a little bit Wilder don't need you anymore. And that was like, that's why I say like, she's like the second best thing that happened to me, cuz that's when I found God is when she left me. Like, yeah, I couldn't rely on her to do my papers anymore. you know, I couldn't rely on her to like de budge my finances anymore. Yeah. To book a trip for me anymore. It's like, and, and it was a weird time too, because like, I hadn't been single for a long time. My friends like, oh my God, TJ's finally single in Atlanta. We gonna do this. And it wasn't me, man. I just was like, Nope, I'm just gonna, we'd still, still come over my house and hang out. And then they go to the club and I'd just sit there with my dog smoking my hookah, reading my Bible. Yeah. That was my jam on like Fridays and Saturday nights when my friends would go out. And just through that, I developed the relationship and I remember the first word I ever heard from God was like, Hey. I notice you dance in a club at all those concerts for other people. Why don't you dance for me at church? And I'm like, Ooh, yeah, music doesn't suck anymore. And then like, I mean, that, that was like the first it was convicting. It was like, man, I do love music. I love getting rally and wilding out and jumping around at concerts and singing. And boy, I cannot sing at all. Yeah. And, but I do it like, and so it was like, why don't I do that for God who I love good point, man. That was a game changer. And that's where like, just hearing him and truly pursuing him in that brokenness of not having a girl with me there all the time. That that was when I really found out who God was. Yeah. And got on the journey to actually pursue, have a relationship and engage with other people with them. So that's why I say like, you know, I, I grew up going, but I didn't understand it until I was like 22. Sure. Yeah. That was another question I wanted to ask you too. So you, you kind of beat me to the PO the punch. So for me, I, I got baptized when I was like 13 or something like that, just cuz like I opened accidentally squeeze someone's hand right. Yeah. That's kinda how it was. Cause they'll say like squeeze your neighbors in right. Three Mississippi, if you wanna get baptized. And you're like, you're like, oh squeezing man. they're like, Hey, you've been coming here long enough. How much you do this? And so I did that and then I went, so cuz at that point at 13 and the life that I had lived at that point, I hadn't been through any trials or tribulations or anything to actually know what struggle was to know that there was anything else other and the, the more that I grew up and the more trials and tribulations that I went through at one point I was like, I feel like I got baptized too soon, almost right. Yeah. And I was like, now I feel like I. Like what God is. And then like a few years later passed, I'm like, I didn't know anything that need before. So like now I know what God is. So just that, that road that I was on. Did, did you ever have something similar to that where it felt like you were not just growing with God, but feeling like you were like hitting, this is a horrible term, but a lack of a better term, just kinda like hitting new levels. Absolutely. Like I don't man. I tell every woman, like if, if you're not growing, you're dying, man. Like, and that's in everything. And that's the cool thing about me. It's like, I I'll see these things in like, you know, your workout or see like, you know, how the Avengers work together. I think of the body of Christ, like God is in everything. The D the devil's just manipulating it mm-hmm you know, or, or perverting it more. So but yeah, there, there, I, that's another word that God, I mean, if you can't look back like in five years and not see yourself as a better person, like, whether it's. Like take faith out of it. Yeah. But faith is, to me is the number one thing about it. But I, if you don't see yourself as a better dad, as a better coworker, as a better friend, as a better whatever hobby you have, if you're not better at that in the next five years, like, what are you doing? Right. Like, do you really care? Do you really love? But yeah. I mean that, thing's like, you learn so much about God and all you realize is you, you learn how much you don't know. Yeah. So that to me was that next level is where you, when you look back, you're like, man, I thought I had this all figured out. You know, I, I would even say I was convicted. I remember reading Francis Chan book, crazy love. Mm-hmm like, have you guys ever read that? I have, yeah, I have not, man. There's a part where he is like, you know, would you want to see Jesus? Would, would it bother you if you got to heaven and Jesus wasn't there. And at that time I was like, nah, man, cuz I'm in heaven. It's heaven. But then like, as it goes on, you think about, it's like, man, I've been praying and worship there. God owes me that. Yeah. Like, I mean that actually came up me and one of me and my counselor and I actually brought up in one of my Bible studies, like what is the one thing that God owes you. And everyone's like, whoa. And like, but instantly I heard it. It was like, he owed you his word. That's the only thing I believe that God owes us is, is to be true to the words that he has spoken. So if I got to heaven and Jesus, wasn't there, God's a liar. And, and I really didn't care about Jesus. I mean, it's like you, once again, give it to a little kid, you know, we're getting pizza. When we get home, man, you better have pizza when you get home, you know? And so that, that, that, that growth, that, that hunger, like, it becomes real. I mean, you know, there's a faith, it's faith. We have, we're operating off of faith. We're not gonna see it all the time, but we gotta know that it's there, but there's that part where I want to see Jesus. And so with that being said, like I got to that moment. I was like, man, I even think that before, like that time before me and li were still together and I really wasn't pursuing God. I don't know if I would've technically went to heaven, heaven. Because I don't think I really love Jesus. It wasn't until I was convicted. I cried that night. I think when I read that too, because it was like, you know, and scripture talks about that. It's like a lot of people do things in my name and I'll be like, I never knew you. And I was like, man, I don't think I knew 'em then. Yeah. And so it's like, there there's a different, that was a totally different level. That was, I don't, I think like that was me actually. Now the game has finally started. Right? Like everything else I heard about saw about thought about got around it, but like, no, I'm actually in the game now. Yeah. One of the other things I wanted to bring up too is, so I told just before the podcast, but not, not that we're on it. is the chip, right. Pretty close to every morning. You're posting a Bible. Literally religiously oh man. You've put me in the religious gallery. Sorry, but aggressive up what it it Uh, But like even there was a time that I asked for you to come on the podcast and you were on vacation even when you were on vacation, you were still posting that Bible verse. What what makes you get up every morning and want to post sex? I'm sure there's some mornings that you're like, man, I, I just don't want to, and you do it anyway or it doesn't matter, but you do it anyway. What, what's the driving factor behind that? Honestly, it's default. Yeah. Like I wake up and I spend time with God intentionally and I feel like that's an effortless way that I can share. Like, I mean, To be real. Like we all, all are gifted and have our areas of influence. Mm-hmm I won't label myself as an influencer, but I know the things that I post get out there and it, and, and it gets noticed and things like that. And it's just like, shouldn't that be my ministry? Like when you look at scripture, you know, like, I mean, he's sending people out. Cause people had jobs, tip makers, fishermen, and stuff like that. Mm-hmm and it's like, shouldn't that be where you're sharing the gospel and it, and, and, and it's different. It's because I post so much, it's like, why don't you post something about me? Who you truly love? You love that more than cooking. You love that more than your goat. You love me more than being on the boat every weekend. Cuz I am like I mean, and I'm, I'm just personally convicted that way, but not convicted in a shameful way. It's like, man, it costs me nothing. But to hear you to notice that you notice that because it's, I don't get responses. I wanna get likes all the time for it. But to know that it's affecting people, man. It's like, God's all about that one. Yeah. And it's about planting seeds, like the parables of the, of the seeds, you know, some fall on some fall on fertile soil. Some get burned up in the sun, you know, some don't like birds carried away and it's like, you know what? This is a way I can plant seeds. I can let people know that I love the Lord and I'm here. Or like, maybe I'm not even, you know, if it encourages you, I'm so thankful. There's probably people who, who it's blessed and I've never got a response from, which is totally cool. This is just me operating in my arena. Mm-hmm but bringing God to it. Yeah. I uh, I, I definitely appreciate it every, every morning, because even if I forget about it, just because I click on you so often, you're, you're one of the first people that like, when I go through stories, you're there. So if, if I forget about it or I'm getting too busy in my day, I see your story. And it means a lot to me that that's the moment, if nothing else, that I'm like, you know what, slow down, read this. What does it mean? So I appreciate it more than you'll ever know, dude. I, I, I really, really genuinely appreciate it because you like, literally cuz as I say that I'm doing it effortlessly mm-hmm cause I really don't, I'm not really expecting return on my investment. Right. I'm not like, so to know that it it's, it's helping people like man that's that was what makes me keep doing it. But still, yeah, I'll be lying if I told you that's gonna motivate me cuz I was doing it off of just, yeah, this is who I am. I'm just gonna be. And I think that like when you're just being who you are and that's another thing I've talked to my my, my counselor, I don't, I guess he's my counselor. I don't know. He's a cool dude, man. And we talk about God all the time. Like that's the only way I'm gonna let someone speak in my life that deeply. Yeah. But he's like, you know, when you, when you're passion, when gosh, I can't say that the right way. But essentially like just, we knew who you, when you're being, who you. Does not drain you like, so I'm waking up and spending time with God and I'm on social media. So it's not draining for me to do that. Like, you know, when, when you're doing something, like I got stuck on jewelry, dude for three weeks, I was freaking miserable. Like, I mean, I, it was like, when I would get home, I just didn't want to talk to people. And I always want to talk to people. Mm-hmm like, that's the thing it's like, when you do something that you were created, designed to do, you're not worn out by you just keep running with it. You know, it's when you put yourself in a situation and try to be something you're not not saying that sometimes we have to do that. Like, if you guys said, Hey guys, I need TJ afterwards. You're gonna have to help me clean up. I can do it. But if you said, TJ come here every day and help me clean out. I'm like, no, you know, that would drain me. Yeah. Yeah. But so it's like what I'm doing with posting that is just like, I'm just being who I am and inviting the Lord to be a part of it. Yeah. Yeah. It reminds, like I was thinking, I work with watches all the time and there's a lot of brands that make solar powered watch. Or like light driven of some sort. Yeah. And that's kind of, it reminds me of you because their job is just to take a little bit of light. And as long as they're in some sort of light, they're just gonna keep going and just keep going, just keep going, putting out energy, but it doesn't make them weaker or less effective. And then they're storing up that energy. And then if they have to sit in some place, dark, or like a box or in a room or someplace with no light, they're still gonna be putting out energy. Is it what they want to do? No. Cause they were made to work in sunlight, but they're still gonna keep doing it. And to me, that's, that's kind of like what you're doing is you're, as long as you're doing what your energy is projected towards, which is being out there in the community, talking to people talking about Christ, talking about the Lord, that's what you like to do. You don't feel like you're being drained of energy. Yeah. I, I think one thing that I want to kind of go back on what you just said as far as like, like talking about Christ, like, and the only reason I wanna separate it, cuz I, I'm not a pastor. It's not, I'm not going out to preach to people. Okay, sure. I'm just going out and having conversation. And if you ask me what I did on Sunday, I'll tell you I went to church and if you ask me why my marriage is good, I'm blaming on God. Like, I mean, it's, it's literally just giving God credit for credits due. Yeah. And, and just doing life with people because I mean, scripture talks about me. We're light in the dark place. I mean, people know mm-hmm, they know, they know they may not pee to articulate it and pinpoint it, but there's something different about someone who just has this joy of the Lord in them, you know? And so it it's really, I, and I just wanna say that, cuz I, I don't know what people are gonna think when they hear this or whatever the case may be. It's like, I'm not a street evangelist or anything like that. I'm just a guy that loves people, loves hanging out, loves to entertain, like. Within that if you asked me why I'm like, man, God created me this way and I'm gonna give him the glory for it, you know? Yeah. You know, that brings a good point. That kind of point kind of connects a lot of things for me too. Just hearing that because it's very similar to you. Like I'm not going out like Bible being or anything like that, just being a street evangelist. But during those dark times, I, I always try to find light somewhere and I always, for me anyway, I see that light through the Lord or he's bringing me through something for a reason. So no matter what darkness I'm going through, I'm gonna go through it with a smile, especially out in public because I know there's light at the end of that tunnel. And I think that's the way that I have brought more people to Christ, not showing them a Bible or pointing out to work verse through 'em because they wanted it or not. But just because of the way that I carry myself through those dark times, and I. That kind of connected those pieces together for me of like, kind of how I was able to bring up those conversations. Yeah. And just like what I, what I want to say to you in relation to what you just said. I believe like you spending time with the Lord in the past is what gave you the ability yeah. To be what you are in that dark time, kind of going back to like how you're giving the example, Chris of the watch. Yep. You know, that watch is taking that light in when it can mm-hmm and using a little bit of energy and probably has to use a little, a lot more, but had it on reserve, you know, that's why going back to like, yeah, I go to church on Sunday, but I also have this morning time with God. I have these small groups with a couple other guys. It charges me up so I can be around a bunch of non-believers, but I got a lot, like I've been spending time with God. It's like that reserve that I think is happening in your life. And, and even if it's not something that you're doing weekly, but, you know, you realize, I mean, I think the. What the enemy tries to do. Like when you go through a rough time, is he tries to make it all about you. What happens is like when you have been spending time loving on others and, and you know that God is good, you can look in a bad situation, be like, you know what? I don't know how long I'm gonna be here. I don't know what's going on, but God, what do you wanna show me? And that's the moment where you redeem it. You know, like one example I give is like my mom dying, like suck, my mom died, like right before COVID like 20, 20, so fairly recent. And I'll tell you what, like, I know how to love on someone whose mom died. Like, I, I literally had a friend whose dad died a couple months after that, or maybe it was a year or so. COVID times, no one knows when was when you know, but, you know, I went to her funeral, her dad's funeral during the week, she was a little bit hurt that other friends weren't at her funeral, her dad's funeral. And I get that and, you know, The general thing was just like, they were busy. They had the work, it was during the week. And I told her, I was like, I wanna say, I'm sorry, because the only reason I'm here right now is cuz my mom died and I know what it's like to lose someone. And I know what it's like for your friends to love on you. When you lose someone. Like I had a friend man's got such a great heart and he's not a believer, but this dude's got such a great heart. He flew out to Auburn, Alabama to my mom's funeral when she died. And I'm like, I didn't even think that was the option. like, I didn't, I would not have thanked that thought that like, and so going back to my friend, I was like, I wanna say, I'm sorry, because the only reason I'm here is because I know, and I wasn't there at shame, but God showed me are outta shame. Mm-hmm God showed me how to love on someone. God showed me that work could wait. Cuz my friends showed me that that was the beauty. It was like, my friend showed me how to love on someone whose mom died or parent died. And I did not have that gift until my mom died. So what Satan, the enemy wants to do is be like, oh, it's over. I only got one, mom, I don't get another one. You got a mom. Where's my mom. You need to be happy to do all these other things are making it about me. But when I like, let God say, Hey, what do you wanna show me? He's like, TJ, I wanna show you how to love on someone who's mom died. Wow. Let me show you that. And then boy, like, it just makes me like, that's what I get emotional. Yeah. Because it's about God and it's about others. Yep. Like, so, I mean, that's, that's the power of just being able to take authority of situations where you're walking through that with darkness, Tyler, like you're walking through that darkness with light, like you have built up something to be a blessing to other people. Yeah. And that's a beautiful thing, bro. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. No problem. oh, everyone needs a sip. Yeah. so. I have to throw in my random question because we got real deep. Yeah. In every podcast I always ask, I have to ask something silly just to like bring it up, watch out. I might make you go deep again. You never know God gave me a word about this. Let's go. I'm okay with that. So I mean, did you take the fact that your wife was like, yo, I wanna move to the beach. Was that the reason why you wanted a boat? Cause I you're. Right. I see you on the boat every weekend and I'm just like, man, it sucks me in a retail. Cause I gotta sit here in the store, you know? That's that's the reason why, like, you know, people gotta understand, man, social media is so de decepting. Yeah. Deceptive social media is mm-hmm I don't even own a boat, bro. I do not own a boat. I've never owned a boat ever in my life. You're a smart one though. Yeah. Yeah, no, man. I'm just, I'm very fortunate to just have really great friends that. We all love the same thing. We're pretty welcoming. And, and there's like a kind of this little hidden beach community of boaters in Wilmington. And the only reason why it's hidden, cuz you gotta have a boat to get there. Yeah. You know? So it's like, there's a lot of these cool islands or diamonds in the rough, but we just love being on the water, but do not own a boat at all. But man, you would think I would like, but actually I will never own a boat as long as I got great friends, because the thing is like, even if I bought one, it'd be like, all right guys, where are we going? So all I'm doing is wasting gas to pay money for a slip, which you can't even find. It's ridiculous just to go meet up at the same place. We were gonna go anyway. Like, I mean what's the point, but man, I'm so thankful for my friends to put up with me out there. that's what I've always said too. I was like, why on a boat? If you have friends that own a boat it's uh, it's uh, yeah. No for me, I mean I'm I have value. Otherwise I got a home gym. I let my friends come over in the neighborhood like, Hey, you guys can use my home gym. Yeah. Feed the goat on the way I would feel like, can I come from ride on boat now? I mean it's, it's that, that Seesaw the balance. But I, I didn't know. I know Facebook will make you think. Well, staying on that level too. I know working out's important to you as well. I love, love it. That was something that when Thadius introduced me to you is he was like, Hey, I go work out at his home gym over here. Yeah. And so tell me what brought on that. What, what made working out so important to you? I mean, I've always been active and I just never lost it. I just kind of kept it going in, and for me, I think, you know, one thing that I was fortunate about is I learned how to work out in college. I mean, you did the sports and stuff, but actually like weightlift and stuff like that. I learned how to do it at college and I did it at a friend's house. Okay. So for me, that's where it all started and that's where it kind of stayed. Like, I mean, I just had this mindset of like, okay, just bring weight to your house. Right. Go out and sign and run. I know. I'll say I'm a natural runner. See. That's, that's not for everyone, but as far as like taking ownership of it, it's like, for me, there's no excuses when it's at your house. Mm-hmm like, I can't be like, oh, it's raining. Oh, I forgot my gloves. It's right there. Yeah. Just, I mean, all you gotta do is walk across the yard. We got this, I got my little outside shed. I called it the danger room, got a lot of free weights, road, machine punching bags, stuff like that. But it is just taking ownership of that. Like, and you know, I'm, I'm gonna go deep now cuz I mean, that's one of the things I learned about COVID is the more things you have ownership of, the less someone can take, you take it away. I mean, you have tr like tyrants can do it, but you know, just in your own personal life, like the gym, like all the gyms shut down, but it's like, whoa, I got my own home gym. Mm-hmm like, I'm gonna, I was working out three times a day because no one was going to work. I work out in the morning, like I always do. I'm bored at lunch. It ain't nothing to do. All the bars are closing restaurants at night. Just go back and work out again. like in going back to like my faith, my Bible stating my small groups, they shut down the church. I was still waking up spending time with God, still hanging out with my guys on Monday nights and Friday nights. Mm-hmm you know, that's where I also I've developed the gift of just the passion for cooking. It's like, you know, if I take ownership of the activities that I want, they can't be taken away from me. And that's why I think it's a powerful thing. And I'm then if there's other than my faith, that's one thing that's been really passionate on my heart for people. It's like, I don't know what that looks like for you. That can look like anything, but just take over your own joy. Yeah. Whatever it is, don't make it be circumstantial with the weather, with the people you're around. Like, I mean, yeah. Those things are good and certain elements, but overall, like, can you, can you stand on your own and just take ownership of something that you truly did truly love mm-hmm and you will, you will remain joyful. Yeah. No, I that's amazing that you were able to find that kind of on your own too, because for me, we talk about this probably too much on the podcast. but Andy Illa needs to pay me, I feel, but so 75 hard was my introduction to that. Yeah, I did. And so very similar. So to workouts today, Rainer show it two workouts a day. Rain or shine. One of 'em has to be outside, like sucks. A suck if it's pouring out and lightning have fun and then you don't live in Nebraska, bro. Just take it right? Yeah, that, that was the point too. So, I mean, Andy LL lives in St. Louis, Missouri. So, and I've been there in. January, which is not fun. So I'm like if he's running in the snow, up to his knees. I 40, 40 rainy all is miserable. Right? Yeah. And I'm like, I, and I did it during the summer too. So it was like, it's 70 degrees in raining and lightning I'll be fine. Like it'll be okay. But that was kind of my catalyst to kind of realize what, what you already started is that I couldn't go to a gym during that time. Mr. COVID as well too, when I did 75 hearts. So I, the one thing you could do is you could order weights from Dick's sporting goods. So I ordered a bunch of early. Yeah. Early on. I ran out quick. Yeah. Yeah. So early I went ordered that, brought them in and made my own little gym in there. I already had like a a heavy bag in the garage, the garage and just got after it, that way. Part of it too was reading 10 pages a day. A part of it that I wanted for myself was to spend time with God and kind of read his word. So that was part of it too. And. I learned the same thing that you just said is that if, if you take ownership and you bring it to yourself and you make that bubble for yourself, no one can take that from you. So that that's extremely valuable and props. I think, I think it is. I mean, that's what, that was a question that was asked to me too, is like, what would you have done different during COVID? And it was like, I'm not bragging on myself. I don't think there's nothing that I've be done different. But what I learned, like, man, yeah. Like what I learned is what you own, man. Like what, like, even like our friend groups, when you're talking about the boating stuff, mm-hmm like, and, and I think we were talking about this a little bit earlier, why I haven't been to the cargo district cuz I love my neighborhood man. Like we, we capitalize of just doing life together, like in and I even bring up the cooking thing because cooking became this way. Facilitating conversation and hanging out mm-hmm you know, like it was about the cooking or the grilling and stuff like that. But then I realized this is the way for me to invite people over mm-hmm you know, crystal, maybe you'll if, if you'll come outta your house for a little bit, you know, if I, to food, I mean, I've seen some of those things was gonna to say those grill meals that you've been making. Like, it, it becomes like it's a form of art. Like, I'll tell you, like, when I display it though, that's kind of my thing that goes back to the fashion thing, but really what's happening behind the scenes that people will ever see regard majority of the time when I'm cooking, there's somebody else at my house. Oh, wow. There's it's hardly ever just me and my wife, like hardly ever. Yeah. So it becomes this thing. And I actually called myself one out on a post on one of my posts, one times about that. It's like, I always show off the food when I should be showed off my friends. I just don't know. I don't ever. Put people on there who don't wanna be on there, stuff like that. But it, it it's about that experience that I'm creating to create something that brings everyone together. And, you know, I I'm giving, like, it it's, it's a fun thing about that, but yeah, like that, that ownership of like, I'm owning my own fun right now. I'm owning my own joy and it doesn't look like I have to look like that's one thing I'm really big on too is like, doesn't have to look like what I'm doing. Mm-hmm like, I think that, like, you know, you got a family of seven and you guys just love to go for a walk at seven o'clock every night. Yep. That's your jam like own that own, that walk with your family own that time and say like, rain, sleep, snow, whatever. We're gonna do this together. And we're gonna have a good time. That looks totally different from my life. I don't have kids at all. And I hate going for walks before. my wife knows I am not. That's why I let her get that dog. Cuz I am not walking. Like, I mean we can run it anyway. Yeah. But we are not walking for some reason that slow pace just makes it. I just don't like getting sweaty for no reason. That's the thing, like, I mean, I don't mind. That's how I sweating if I'm burning calories, but if I'm just like sweating, cuz I'm, I mean like, no dude, it's like we can couch that real quick. Yeah. You know, I'll find something else to do now. I just need to be, I need the heart rate up if I'm sweating. Yeah. I'm the same way too. Yeah. If I'm just sweating because I'm just sitting sweating. I hate it. But if I'm out like in the garage with a door shut and it's like a million degrees in there and humid is like hill, then like I'm all about it. It's worth the burn. We it up all the time. Yeah. Speaking of your gym then, so what's the name of your gym? You know, I haven't named it. You gotta name it. You gotta name it. I would say now, now that you mention it, I gotta find, never thought about that. You gotta name it. You gotta everything. Me, everything has to have a name. It's just more fun that way. Like I, I name all my guns. Yeah. Like, you know, I name my gym and everyone who comes to my. They have to put their code name on the wall. Like it's like, that's awesome. So name of my gym is the danger room. Yeah. Yeah. So it's like named after like the Xmen where they were trained. So everyone has to put, like, it says, sign in with your code name under it. So that's sick. It's pretty cool that everyone just like has their, and actually somebody was working out me this morning. They were like I forgot. They were like, who's silent assassin. I was like, can't tell you, you know, can't tell you, you only know if they come in. Yeah, absolutely. But I mean, they, their names stay up there and stuff like that, but it's just kind of a fun little just, Hey, we're going to the danger room. And even my friends will text me. You mind? I come to the danger room. I was like, go for it. That's a good point. I mean like my guns have names too. My car has a name. I mean like good point. Why, why doesn't my Jim have a name, Jim? Yeah. So I do have, because you brought up the danger room. What was your favorite? X-Men X-Men character. Yeah. Oh man. I think if you, if you take me through the cartoons, cause I didn't really grow up watching comic books, but I grew up like watching the Saturday morning cartoons. I just loved hearing gambit. Thank you. He was just a cool dude, man. He just had, I mean like me being a fashion dude, like had a trench coat, he just had that swag about him. You know? Like just that Cajun accent. You never heard that dude was just smooth. I was like, man, we need more gambits everywhere. Like, no, he was my second favorite. We need to have HP do a commission for TJ. I feel like he's done a, he hasn't done a gambit yet. He did storm. Yeah. Cyclops. I don't think he's done gambit. See, that's why you picked gambit. Yep. That wow. Cart pun was intended. You didn't get it. Well, no. So, so who's your number one then? Chris? Oh, Mindstorm storm. I mean, fair enough. Fair enough. I mean, I wish I could be stormed too. If I could make every day, a Sunday day, help you farmers I'll make it rain Monday through Friday, Friday at three. That's it. No. Yeah. I just grew, I was thinking about that. I was like, you know, I have to throw in that random pop we pop, but yeah, gambit was my second favorite, but I didn't like, yeah, like from the comic book side though, I don't, I don't, cause I didn't read a lot of comic books. I don't think he got a lot of comic book play, but like, but then still, you know, I'm just, I'm like that I'm just aggressive. So I like that Wolverine dude, like just, I'm just such an aggressive guy. Like that's just my, my, I mean I'm not aggressive obviously towards people and stuff like that, but knowing how to turn that alone, when you have to mm-hmm I mean, that's what makes my workouts fun. Like, you know, just getting there, getting it done and then you come back and relax. And just even too, like, if someone's outta line, like, you know, it's not about like fighting, but sometimes you just gotta. Set the tone, let people know this is how it's gonna be. Yeah. And we're good. All right, cool. Let's move on. You know, I don't know how much you know about Jordan Peter Peterson, but that was, that was something that he said not long ago too, is no, I haven't heard that one. I know a little, I watched some of his clips and stuff. Yeah. He's I like that too. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So one of his big things is like the definition of a man is just being right. Yeah, yeah. Is having that aggression inside of you, but having it, using it and knowing it as a confidence that you don't need to use it, but it's there. That's why you don't need to be aggressive during your everyday kind of walk of life. But knowing that you have it inside of you is kind of what makes you, who you are. Yeah. It it's, it's being mature, you know? Yeah. And that's, that's kind of things that we're seeing. It's like, I don't know, call it out, man. I think we're, we. I don't know where the man is gone. Like, you know, like someone being a real man and like, you know, I, I saw it to myself when I was on jury duty. Like when I got I got elected to be foreman, you know, that's the person who's gotta stand up and say, Hey, we, the people call this person guilty and stuff. And that was rough man. Like I was on a criminal trial for three weeks. And as I started just being my social self, I was just talking to everyone. And so I saw this coming, I knew I was gonna get picked for it and I did not wanna do it. I didn't, I did. I actually felt nauseous in my stomach and I don't, I don't, I don't have too many of those where I feel nauseous. Like, you know, I've had things, I just get mad and I hate don't want to do, but I knew it was an opportunity to be a man. Like you're, you're, I'm in this room with, with chair 12 or 11 other jurors. And you know, you got like nine women, three dudes, you know, one guy's older, a guy's kind of young and Tim and like, you know, nothing against either one of those, but you look at the situations like I gotta do it. And, and the thing about even being a man it's like, it sucks sometimes mm-hmm, you know, it's not about like, oh yeah, I'm the man. I just incredible hope to mess out of this thing. Yeah. It's like, nah, man, I went down with the ship. Well, I'm willing to go down with the ship if it goes down mm-hmm you know, because I, I, no woman wants to stand up there and look at someone who's convicted of, of murder and say that. Yeah. You know, like, and you, it's just, you just gotta do manly stuff sometimes. And sometimes it's taken for the team. You might be quivering on the inside, on outside, you just step up to the plate and, and do what needs to be done and learn from it, move on, share it, you know, but I, I think it's really important to, to be a man nowadays, cuz I think that's what we're missing out on. Cuz part of it too is just like being able to have a conversation mm-hmm like men don't fight. Like men don't throw things at people. Men don't call each other names just cause I mean, we have our immature moments. We all do. Sure. But being like, Hey, I'm gonna take a step back and what do we have to do to solve this talk? This. Even sometimes you do have to die to yourself. And that's just what it is like, you know, with being married, you know, mm-hmm, you know, that like sometimes, like, you know what the most manliest thing I can do right now is shut the hell up. Yeah. you got that. Right. And, and that's one of, and that's, that has been a huge blessing in my marriage. Probably why, like, I mean, I may be talking a lot now, cuz I think that's kind of the reason why you have me there mm-hmm you know, it makes me learn, like not to cut people off. Like my wife went through a tragic moment at one time and she was just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Just yelling at me all the time and just like it in that moment, she definitely had a reasons to yell cause she was going through a traumatic time. Yeah. But I swear like once again, how God shows you stuff in your tragedy, like she taught me how to listen. Mm. Like I know now how like the same way, like you might get comfortable cuz you're about to watch something and you relax. Like my, I feel my brain actually making, turning to a certain posture when I'm really truly listening. And, and I love that. I learned that, like I learned how to just shut up and take it in like in, and that's sometimes what you gotta do as a man. Like, you don't need to make it about you. You may think that person's wrong. You may even agree with that person. That's one of the things I learned through jury duty, there's like three other people I was equally as passionate about, but I just knew that like, okay, if we wanted everyone to have their say not feel bullied, they're already saying what I agree on. So we don't need three people, especially the person leading the ship, right. To be that person. Like, I'm just gonna be quiet. Mm-hmm and let other people talk. And if I talk, I'm gonna encourage other people to share their, their perspectives. Cuz it was so valuable. It was so like one person was a teacher, very loving this other girl, like she was younger, just freaking, she was like a stenographer. We had to go back to her notes and figure out what was going on. Like cuz I mean it's three weeks. It was alive. It's like just imagine a CSI episode, like gosh, like three weeks long trying to put it all together and tell your friends about it is heavy. But you, you learn. Just how to take authority. And sometimes even though I say, take authority, it's dying to yourself, it's listening. It's saying, okay, I've heard you now let's make a decision. Mm-hmm like, really like, like when the time is right. You man up and you go. Yeah. And so I think being a man is so important, man. Absolutely agreed. And act with all of that being said, it leads into my last question of the night. If you were to tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? This is always a hard one. It's not a question that comes up often. This is gonna sound like I'm bragging, but it's like, you know, being a man is me shutting right. Shutting up right now. And just trying to like, you know, give you. What my heart really says versus cuz I'm really good at talking like I'm really, I can, I can fly off the mouth like crazy and I'm good at it. Like come up with some stuff, but yeah, I'm just gonna say what's on my heart right now. I can't say this like sums up who TJ is, but the season that I'm in is just, just dealing with deception. You know, I think deception is like it's at its worst, you know? So you know, me looking back on like what have I been deceived from? Like, and, and those things you can't fully control because as you do life, you mature, you know, you get exposed to more, you get your bumps in your bruises. Mm. but just I'm really concerned about deception right now. Like I think that that's what causes division. Yeah. You know, like, like cuz what I see the lack of deception is you talking about your atheist friend mm-hmm it's like we can look at each other as people, as you know, as that we want same, we may not be on the same page, but we care. Right. There's a common bond. And even if I don't like where you are doesn't mean I don't like you like, you know, or if I don't like what you do, what you say. And so there's a, there's a lot of deception and I'm not even just talking about what people, man, like, I'll tell you one time. Like I was praying and I was like, I, I, I wanna know what's more going on in the spiritual. I don't think I can handle some of that stuff. Like, I mean, revelation there's, there's a lot of heavy stuff and I don't think like, I mean, like I've never been that guy that could watch a scary movie. Mm-hmm never like, I mean, I can't people who can do that. Like that will keep me up. I I'll tell you what, I'm not manly there when it comes to scary movies or if you got an animal in your house, like I'm not dealing with, unless I can shoot it but like, I really had a friend, like, she was like, oh, teacher, I have something in my attic. And I was gonna call you to come over. Like, you got the wrong one girl. I wouldn't even do that for my wife. And I love it. She knows getting well, like if I can't shoot it, we are not touching it. We ain't doing nothing. But like, like, so going back to that, like I was praying to Lord. I was like, Lord, I just, I just wanna know what's going on in the spiritual. And one day I was just sitting in a bar and just I'll start looking at logos and just different things. And it was like pretty much what God was saying was like, it's, it's a lot of it's right in front of you. It's not this demon or wicked thing in the background. And I'll tell you what, one of the things that showed me that blew my mind was on was I was looking at. The iPhone and the fact that it was a bitten apple mm-hmm and it just made me think about the garden. Yeah. And I'm like, how long has that been? Like right in front of my face. And then the fact that we call it the iPhone, like the enemy wants you to make everything about you. I, me, you know, I, I, I, I, I, aye. Aye, aye. Aye. Aye. And just how just, you know, these are things that they may be subtle, but the, the enemy's subtle. Yeah. So it's like, I, I just don't know how much I've been deceived, you know? And I don't feel convicted by it at all. I'm glad that I have the wisdom now and you walk that out, but there's, there's some things that have been in front of us. Yeah. Like that, like, I even heard somebody go down at the other path, like television, television, like it's telling you something channels mm-hmm, it's taking you somewhere, you know? Like, and it was like, how many of these things have I just been deceived, like even. Even like the I've been on this too. It's like rap music, man. Like it's the most damaging thing that we can feed the youth and I'm not lie. I love it, man. When let's get in that danger room, ti Pandora play. Yeah. You know, but I just know where I'm at in life and like being a man, I can compartmentalize that as entertainment. I can use it for what it's worth to get me through this workout. And I guarantee you, as soon as I'm done working out Jesus culture, Pandora. Yeah. Like I need that to get me through the stretching cuz I hate that. that's true. Like, but it's like, you know, we don't ever address, like to me rap music, you have an adolescent kid that may not have a mom and dad in his life growing up on that. That is as bad as feeding your kid McDonald's every day and wonder why's fat you know, like it it's, it's damaging. And like, and I grew up listening to that and, and like what thoughts and mindsets that I have made. That have deceived me of like the things that even now I want today in life. Like, is it because I grew up watching rap videos and stuff like that, you know, God actually redeems and I'm more of a mature person, but just that level, it's like, no one really addresses rap music. Like that stuff is not healthy for you as a kid. And maybe even as a, as a adult, depending on where you're at in life, you know? So I know I kinda went around the block and stuff like that, but it all grows legs. No, that, I mean, no, that was perfect works. Cuz we are coming up at the end of our day. I just wanna say thank you TJ for coming on. Appreciate it. I know it's been a, a struggle trying to match up schedules with everybody cause you are a very busy man. But is there any spot that our listeners can reach out to you on like social media or anything you wanna plug. I mean, if you feel the need to reach out to me, I don't really don't think that I'm that special. And like, I mean, on, on Instagram it's I'm, I'm TJ Dunn. I am T J D U N N. I just like, thank you guys for having me out. Like I don't, I don't really, I don't know, like I had no expectations of this. This is a different thing for me, but I really enjoyed it. And I'm honored that you guys seek me in that way and wanted me to be here. And absolutely. And I hope that I added value to your podcast. Oh, for sure. It certainly did yes, everyone. I always laugh cuz you know, every week we do something and we ask different people and I feel like I gain wisdom, not just cuz I look up stuff about whiskey, but from each person's perspective mm-hmm it helps me like add another book to my library so I can like learn. I'm like, okay. So I, I should be thinking like this or thinking like that. And you've definitely added more than one. certainly step to my library. Yeah. Thank you everybody for listening to us. I hope you gain some wisdom, especially like I did. If you guys wanna support us, drop a like on the socials at whiskey and wisdom if you wanna leave a nice review on the apple store or the apple podcast channel, you know, we would love that if you don't wanna leave anything nice. Don't do it is just what mama said. ain't got nothing nice to say. Don't say it at all. She also said, knock you out. true to also, you know, we've linked up with a few people, bones and raise. Yep. So if you use the code wisdom, they will save you quite a bit of money in my perception. And they will actually ship you different things. Bones, coffee, local coffee shop shop. I don't their roastery, I guess roaster. Yeah. That'll ship you different flavors. Straight to your door and raise energy. Pretty much the only energy drink Tyler can drink. Yep. Without catching a migraine. But yeah, code wisdom saves you a little bit of money, but thank you guys for listening. Thank you, TJ. For coming on. I appreciate it was on greatly. Appreciate you coming on. Glad we could finally pin you down. Absolutely. Cheers. Cheers.