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The Fallible Man

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A Different Kind of Man a different kind of Lifestyle

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  • Writer's pictureThe Fallible Man

Gratitude is a Verb with Shaun McNay


S02E47

[00:00:33] Welcome to the fallible man. Podcast, your home for all things, man, husband and father. My name is Brent and on today's show My special guest is Shaun McNay.

[00:00:40] Shaun was the first interview I ever did on this podcast. And we've come a year around the calendar since then. And it was a great Thanksgiving show with lousy audio because we were shooting wherever I could with the USP. Sean is a husband, a father at baseball coach, a Minnesota Vikings fan. One of the few and a pastor is also my friend.

[00:01:01] And I'm excited to have him in our first in-person interview in the new studio. Shawn, welcome back to the show.

[00:01:07] Shaun McNay: Thank you very much. It's good to be back.

[00:01:10] David Dowlen: So, Shaun, I told you I'd make this really easy for you to just take you right on the roller coasters. So here we go. Right.

[00:01:16] Shaun McNay: Take us there. Skip.

[00:01:17] David Dowlen: Now I actually gave you more of an introduction than I generally do to any of my audio.

[00:01:21] Uh, just cause I know you better tell us who Shaun McNay is?

[00:01:25] Shaun McNay: okay. I'll uh, uh, as I drove over here, um, I thought to myself, I'm an average, Joe, like you had some like impressive guests on the show. Um, so, so I'm just going to skew us down a little bit. Um, who am I. Uh, I grew up in Western Montana or the youngest of four boys, two Jack and June McNay.

[00:01:52] And I'm the youngest of four boys. Uh, Scott Reed, Lindsey and me, Shaun. And, um, my brother Reed is with the Lord. Scott and Lindsey are couple of my closest friends. But we all live in different time zones. I am a husband. I met my bride 39 years ago. We've been married 37 years, but we married. Uh, we met in college.

[00:02:19] Her name is Diane. And, uh, I like to say that I out kicked my punt coverage. I married way, way above my pay grade. Diane is from Salem. Uh, we got married in 1980. And I worked at the university that we graduated from for 15 years before making a midlife crisis, vocational change, trying to follow the Lord into ministry and to his call on our lives at that point to assign us into pastoral ministry.

[00:02:53] Um, and that's actually one of the reasons you and I met because, uh, Diana and I came to Quincy 12, 11 plus years ago. We're in our 12th year now of ministry here, I'm a father to three adult children, Zachary Lacy, and Libby you'd said that I was a baseball coach. I was for 11 years, actually just this year will be the first year that I haven't coached baseball.

[00:03:22] Since we moved to Quincy, I stepped aside our assistant coach from last year, I felt like was just, uh, the, the era. I don't make the hires, but I was pretty sure that, uh, he could take the Baton and run with it. So this will be the first year in over a decade that I haven't coached. I'll I'll miss that, but, uh, I'm really at peace about it.

[00:03:46] I am a hopeless Minnesota Vikings fan, but they'll, they'll win the super bowl sometime, probably after I'm with the Lord in heaven. That's that's suggest I, I. I'm really thankful to be a husband and father and a pastor. And, um, I'm thankful to be here with you. Thanks buddy, for having me down.

[00:04:10] David Dowlen: No, I'm glad to have you back on the show, man.

[00:04:12] It's, uh, we've been a long journey to get here and even willing to test the waters all along and, you know, I really enjoyed our Thanksgiving show. Uh, I really did, despite the audio issues that were outside of our control, uh, my, my mom's gone back and listened to that and it's, you know, well, moms have to life things.

[00:04:32] Right. But no, it was a great episode cause it actually really helped me become more comfortable, comfortable as a podcast or so I really appreciate that on your part. And now we're, we're done with the softball questions here. Okay. We're going to get into it. Here's the hard one. What is your favorite ice cream?

[00:04:50] Shaun McNay: I had anticipated. You might ask me that I like ice cream in general,

[00:04:59] but if I had to choose one flavor before I went to heaven, I would probably choose lemon cream. Lemon cream. Uh, it, it love your tender. You should give it a try. It sounds good. You can get it a at Baskin and Robbins. Okay.

[00:05:22] I was going to ask you, there were some specific

[00:05:23] brands. Well, listen, I'm, I'm, you know, I'm a lover, not a hater.

[00:05:27] So, uh, no, I, I, I really, I like ice cream, but uh, if I had one bowl of ice cream before I went to be with the Lord lemon cream baby,


[00:05:39] David Dowlen: Lemon cream, it is, I love that question just because. It's universal, right? Unless you are lactose intolerant and they've even made ice creams just for that. Thank goodness for that.

[00:05:54] It is all, but Thanksgiving, it is upon us. In fact, tomorrow when the show comes out will be, Thanksgiving are sorry. The day after the show comes out will be Thanksgiving. Yeah. What are you most grateful for for Thanksgiving? Oh, man.

[00:06:09] Shaun McNay: Um, And I, I want to leave some time for you to talk actually. So I have to, I have to think through,

[00:06:17] David Dowlen: so I said most grateful for,

[00:06:19] Shaun McNay: I guess I would start with two things.

[00:06:23] I'm 60 years old and I've been, I was, um, 14 when I came to faith in Christ. I was introduced to him before that, but I didn't make any kind of intentional step toward the Lord faith while. Um, until I was 14. And as you can imagine, that's been, uh, uh, you know, it's not been a smooth road. Um, it maturity doesn't come quickly and typically it doesn't come easily.

[00:06:54] And that's certainly been the case for me in my faith. I guess that implies, I think I'm mature. I don't imply that I, but I think I'm further along than I was when I was 14. But I, I am thankful for this first and foremost that, um, although I don't understand why, um, I'm, I'm loved by God. I, you know, I can look myself in the mirror and say to the guy that I'm looking at, like, I know who you are.

[00:07:27] Like, I know the truth about you and God, even more like he, he knows. In the east, the one that created us, he knows the things we're going to say before we say them and the thoughts we're going to think before we think them, but to be loved by God. And, and I come in and out of my awareness of that, that would be the number one thing I'm thankful for is that I'm known by the creator and, um, and accepted and loved even though, um, you know, you can say it a lot of ways.

[00:07:59] I'm a knucklehead, I'm a center. Um, a fallible man. Um, and then, and then I would add to that. I am so thankful that I've been given family. Uh, the family, my family of origin, um, my mom and dad, my three brothers, uh, I am just so thankful. They pointed me to work Christ. Each of them, my brothers included in even, probably more specifically at times than my parents impacted my life and faith.

[00:08:32] Um, encouraging me to. Take a step in to follow the Lord or to stay the course in it. And from my family of origin, to my immediate family, with my, my bride, Diane and, and our son sack and our two daughters, Lacey and Libby brand, I just, I don't, I don't know what life would be like. I think I could have life without them, but, but I I'm glad I've had them in my life.

[00:09:04] And. Um, my greatest earthly blessings, so I'll stop there, but then you find it's enough to

[00:09:11] chew on, I guess

[00:09:12] David Dowlen: you're fine. We are anything on us on this podcast. We, uh, I don't ask my guests to pull any punches or hold anything back. And when they ask that of anybody that is, uh, probably one of my most fallible traits is I'm, I'm painfully honest, uh, about things.

[00:09:34] Especially back about fact that fallible, but I don't believe in putting a gag on a person on something of art. I asked my guests to wash their language just so we don't get the explicit rating on apple very often. But, uh, you know, if it comes out naturally in the conversation for him, I also don't edit it out.

[00:09:56] Shaun McNay: So I'll do my best.

[00:09:57] David Dowlen: Yeah, I know. Right. That's going to be a struggle for you, but I certainly wouldn't ask you to say less. And that, uh, format. So on Mondays live stream, we talked about the definition of the word appreciate and how it actually is a multi-step process that builds on itself now for visual representation.

[00:10:16] And if you guys are listening to the show, there is a video version of this show, and I apologize, but I brought this so Sean could see what I'm talking about in case you missed the live stream. So there are four definitions of the word appreciate in the dictionary. And they actually go in this order it's to understand fully direct, recognize the full implications of something to recognize the full worth, to be grateful for or to rise the value.

[00:10:46] Now, one of the things I talked about in the live stream Monday, This is actually like just fully developed appreciation. The definition actually builds on itself. If you want to get the full version of the idea of appreciation to the point where, so it looks like this step one is acknowledgement. I see it.

[00:11:07] Step two is understanding I get it. Step three is Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for it. And step four is increasing the value. I will try and grow in tender. Now I said the definition stacks on itself and it's to me instead of four separate jet definitions of the word, it's the full process of truly appreciating you mean grateful for something.

[00:11:35] I want to share any thoughts on this?


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[00:11:36] Shaun McNay: Well, number one, I thank you for the etymology of the word that's that is really that's helpful. I love that. The idea of it stacking. It seems like the word that comes to my mind is I'm going deeper in, in this number. Step number two of understanding it. Um, yeah, it's the thing that sticks out to me most is in step four, I will grow and I will tend it.

[00:12:04] That idea that I just adds to this, the concept of us being stewards. Like we're not owners of anything, but. Uh, but a biblical understanding of stewardship is tending to it. Like you're a father and a husband, and you tend to those relationships, not just responsibilities. Relationships and tending, uh, the spirit of gratitude or appreciation.

[00:12:36] I like that. That's challenging.

[00:12:38] David Dowlen: I wish I could totally claim ownership of this breakdown.

[00:12:41] Shaun McNay: Oh, you didn't write that.

[00:12:43] David Dowlen: I will. I will. I will not plagiarize my friend's work friend of mine. I met during this podcast, actually, author, Stephen Crane wrote a book called I can appreciate that. And we actually talked about it a little bit.

[00:13:00] When I interviewed him, it isn't the prologue to his book. Wow. The whole rest of his book is. I collection of basically essays because the son goaded him into living a life of gratitude for a year. His 15 year olds called them out hard. I was like, dad, why do you always see the worst side of everything?

[00:13:21] Why are you such a pessimist? And so he plunged into this year of ha uh, but he breaks us out in the beginning of the book and I read his whole book and it was a great book. I'll let him, you, if you want. But it, this was in, in the opening prologue of the book. I mean, just right. Just blew my mind. I never thought about it.

[00:13:46] I never even thought to think about it, but it had such gravity when I really saw. Wow. That is probably the best explanation of what it means to be truly appreciative or truly grateful in, in the stages of it. Right. Because you can be grateful on the surface for something, right. We do that all the time.

[00:14:09] Hey, thanks for the cup of coffee. Right. We do that kind of stuff all the time, and that's acknowledging that you did something for me, but that's not gratitude.

[00:14:20] Shaun McNay: You know, knowing that I haven't met Steven, but I'm hearing that he went through, uh, it sounds like the book came out of that challenge that his son gave to him.

[00:14:30] It's no wonder. I mean, if you, if you intentionally dive into the deep end and swim, right. And in gratitude that you would be able to give something more than a. Uh, surface level definition of appreciation and gratitude. Uh, that's impressive. It's not just impressive. It's it's inspiring.

[00:14:54] David Dowlen: You, you can borrow it if you want. I'm sure you won't mind.

[00:14:56] Shaun McNay: Well, listen, you're only three steps from original thoughts. So you've quoted Stephen here and you say, you know, Steven said, The next step is you can say it's been said, and then the third time you just say, you know, I've always thought, and they're there. You have an original thought.

[00:15:13] So sorry, Steven, if you're watching this,

[00:15:16] David Dowlen: I'm not sure I could do that.

[00:15:17] Shaun McNay: I know I've integrity

[00:15:20] David Dowlen: let's see. Steven's uh, Steve is a really good dude. I'm actually, uh, planning to coordinate with him and a couple of the other guys I interviewed, I want to do a fatherhood symposium online. Live Q and a streaming it, um, Steven has worked in the system with foster kids and, and kids like that.

[00:15:43] I've got another guy I interviewed who has step-children and he's like, you know, no one ever talks about being a stepdad and a couple of the guys I've talked to. So I'm working on putting all of them together. We're gonna do a father put symposium online, just stream the whole thing, like on a Saturday or something for a couple hours.

[00:15:59] And just do live question and answers and presentations on being a father and growing yourself as a father.

[00:16:06] Shaun McNay: Good stuff.

[00:16:06] David Dowlen: I don't want to plagiarize him too much. I want him to come on the show,

[00:16:10] Shaun McNay: plagiarize him after he has been

[00:16:12] David Dowlen: after he's been back on, you know, he shared that in the book and it was like, wow.

[00:16:16] I, uh, I never just put that together and absolutely loved it. And it played into today's episode. So well, as we were talking about Thanksgiving and gratitude, I just wanted to share it with you because I didn't know if you'd ever seen that before, because when I saw it as mind blown, right guys, we're spending the first part of the show, just getting to know Shaun and letting you guys get to know Shaun A. Little bit. And we're talking about the idea of appreciation. And second half of the show we're going to get, go into applied gratitude. What does it look like to live your life with gratitude? We're gonna roll to our sponsors and we'll be right back with more from Shaun.


[00:17:32] David Dowlen: Welcome back. We're here with discussing gratitude and we're going to get into that. What it actually looks like to practice gratitude is a lifestyle going forward. But before we dig into that, Shaun, what is the most. What purchase of a hundred dollars or less in the last year has had the most profound impact on your life

[00:17:52] Shaun McNay: of a hundred dollars or less?

[00:17:54] David Dowlen: Yes.

[00:17:56] Shaun McNay: Uh, well, the first thing that came to my mind, actually it was a little more than a hundred dollars. Can I sweep over the limit?

[00:18:04] David Dowlen: Uh, we'll see.

[00:18:06] Shaun McNay: Okay. Well, you can decide. I bought a pair of shoes. Um, I, I started walking. Um, uh, I had a close friend die. He was, um, younger than me by about a decade and he died of a massive heart attack.

[00:18:24] He I'm good, man. I'll see him again. Uh he's with the Lord now I use a follower of Jesus and, um, but, but he, um, he was so busy. He was, uh, College administrator executive administrator and, uh, was kind of fully committed in his work and as well as trying to take care of his family, but didn't do as good a job to take care of himself.

[00:18:52] And he was aware of that. And I was in the same spot when my friend Scott died and, uh, just not. Not doing a very good job of doing physical care. Um, and my, my wife, Diane challenged me and said, you know, I, I want you to be around. And that's always a good thing. I mean, that's a blessing when, when our wives say they want us around.

[00:19:19] So I started walking in, um, July of 2019, and then in. And then, uh, my daughter challenged me. Hey, dad, let's walk the year. And um, I said, well, what do you mean? She goes, well, it's going to be 2020, let's walk 2020 miles. And I said, you're insane. You are insane. No, I'm not going to do that. And this was a couple of days before the new year.

[00:19:46] So it was right at the end of 2019, along a long time before. Th our awareness of COVID and, um, don't we wish we could go back there. Um, so she asked me again the next day, our whole, all our kids were home for Christmas. And I said, honey, I don't, I don't have another word other than no, I'm not going to do that.

[00:20:09] And that night I went to bed and this is the thought that I had. You're an idiot for some reason, unbeknownst to you, your daughter actually likes you and wants to spend time with you. And here you're saying no. Who gives a rip if you make the goal or not just say yes and go walk with her. So I, that next morning I came out.

[00:20:34] I think it was the day, it was a new year's Eve day. And I said, Lacey I'll do it. And she was like, why are you? Well? And so we started doing it and we get through January and you know, it's about five miles a day. And I thought, I don't think I'm going to make this. We get a five week Centrica stat. I'm just so busy.

[00:20:54] I don't think I can keep up. And I'm like, oh, so you get me hooked and then you, you drop off. So I kept doing it. And one thing led to another. And, uh, I was at 2020 by the end of September of 2020. And I'm like, you know, I was kinda like just picking up steam. Right. And I ended up the year. Uh, I, I thought I wanna w I, I made the goal, but I want some total that I can remember.


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[00:21:26] And so I ended up doing 27, 27. I thought I can remember that. And, uh, I went through several pairs of shoes and, um, that's a lot of miles to walk. So, you know, five, five to 600 miles on a pair of shoes is a lot. I got a pair of shoes just last year. That was just over a hundred dollars. And, um, that's a lot of money to pay for shoes.

[00:21:55] Um, probably for what it all represents because it rep I, I listened to the Bible about two full times through and in the span of walking that, you know, in 2019 and 2020. So. Well over 3000 miles. Um, and I listened to the scriptures all the way through twice. I listened to hours and hours of worship music plus plus some good teaching and just kind of mindless stuff.

[00:22:27] Like we were talking earlier about Louis L'amour. I listened to a few Louis L'Amour books and yeah, and that guy that likes the Vikings and, and, uh, Louis L'Amour. Um,

[00:22:38] David Dowlen: I grew up on Louis L'Amour.

[00:22:40] Shaun McNay: The reason that I would choose those shoes is because of what it represents. It, um, it brought my wife and I closer together.

[00:22:49] Cause I, I did some of those walks with her. I did some with my daughter and my other daughter, Libby and my son. I, I got to walk some of those miles with all the. And I benefited physically. Um, you lost a lot of weight and so it, it was, but the reason I would choose the shoes is what it represents. And I'm very thankful for it.

[00:23:12] So you're going to have to decide if it's worthy of me saying it was,

[00:23:15] they were,

[00:23:16] David Dowlen: well, let me drill into this a little bit because you, you actually hit two points. We hammer on frequently on this channel is. A. You use the time to also improve yourself. You listen to the Bible, you listen to other books.

[00:23:31] You didn't just walk. You fed your soul. You fed your mind as you were taking care of yourself, physically and or huge proponents of that. In fact, uh, last Monday night, Monday before last, I was just talking about, uh, hacks on how to, how to fit in self-improvement in a super busy lifestyle. And. Huge fan of audible in 2020.

[00:23:56] I never listened to audio books before now. I love them. I just started a new one yesterday. And so, you know, I'm a huge fan of audible book, audio books, because it's let me get, I love reading. I always, I have for years, never as much as the rest of my family, I was a late bloomer on that. Like I was a kid, they all read it, drove drumming nuts because they'd all be reading books.

[00:24:19] I'd be bored out of my mind. I didn't actually fall in love with reading until I was somewhere around sophomore in high school, but I don't always have time to read. The fact that you're doubling up your walking to feed yourself emotionally and spiritually while taking care of your physical self physically, we got to let that go with that.

[00:24:38] That's a, that's a, well-invested slightly over a hundred bucks that, and I mean, you, you hit the nail on the head. So many men stopped taking care of themselves, physically in the name of trying to be better husbands and by their fathers, trying to provide for their family and take care of them. Uh, I know I can tell you in the last year, I've put on extra 30 pounds because I spend so much time working and trying to build out the fallible man and work a full-time job and be a dad.

[00:25:10] I just, haven't been going to the gym. My birthday squats are coming up for the year and I'm terrified. I'm going to die.

[00:25:17] Shaun McNay: Just say no, no,


[00:25:19] David Dowlen: no. I got to do it. Fail, pass, or fail. I got to do it, man. Uh, it gives me a hard dose of reality. It's one of the things I love about weights. Weights are completely bipartisan and everything.

[00:25:34] They, they don't care. They don't care if they feel good, they don't care if you hurt, they don't care. If you're tired, however many pounds on that floor is the same amount. No matter how you feel. And you're either bringing it and you're going to move it or you not. It's, it's, uh, one of your most honest friends in the world.

[00:25:52] So I love weights for that, but yeah, it's a, so many guys I've talked to and worked with that is a universal thing. And I mean, you don't even have to talk to people. You can just look right as people mature and grow up and develop jobs and families and mortgages. Right. We all get a little wider. And a little less healthy.

[00:26:16] And then if you add other habits like that, I mean, I smoked for years was just tore up my lungs. And so, you know, you had other bad habits and all of a sudden you're like, oh look, I'm a 30 pounds overweight. I can, are you winded? Walk into my mailbox? It's a normal thing for men to die. Because they literally worked themselves to death.

[00:26:38] And part of that is they work a lot of hours to take care of their families, which isn't a bad thing. It's good. The middle want to take care of their families, but they also stopped taking care of themselves so they can work with. And so yeah. Now I can let go the a hundred dollars on that because you hit two major, major points that we're really into on this channel.

[00:26:58] So that, that was just beautiful. That worked out nicely. It's like you listen to the channel or something. Yeah,

[00:27:04] Shaun McNay: actually I do. I'm a subscriber, I'm a subscriber. So, uh, I'll just say to the guys that are watching, uh, subscribe and like, and comment. Come on into the

[00:27:18] fellowship,

[00:27:18] David Dowlen: do the social media thing, man, share us with your friends and to all of our podcasts listeners.

[00:27:24] I'm just grateful you guys taking the time and spending some time with us as we keep digging into gratitude. And this Thanksgiving week now, here we go. Deeper questions. That that was a fun one. I like to lighten up a little bit here and there in the past year, since you and I did this before on Thanksgiving, I made some upgrades.

[00:27:43] Obviously I've gained some experience. And the fact that this is my 70th published episode, not on 70 S episodes that have published dot kind of ones I haven't released yet. I've had an incredible opportunity to interview a lot of really incredible people over the last year. People who are successful in their own rights and all kinds of professions and industries.

[00:28:06] And it's been my experience that one of the few things that everybody seems to share who's really successful and on a path that they want to be. Is all of them have the same outlook. That gratitude is a foundational part of life. That, I mean, from, from a real estate mogul, multimillion dollar real estate mogul to a dating coach, all of them seem to agree that gratitude is just a foundational pillar of being successful and healthy in life.

[00:28:38] So what do you think makes gratitude so pivotal.

[00:28:43] Shaun McNay: Uh, that's a great question. Um, well, I'll, uh, I'm going to go back to what you said about the weights, you know, They're, they're not partisan. They they're your best friend. And they'll tell you right where you're at. So I, I hate weights. Um, so, uh, after I walk, I typically do a little bit of stretching and some just body weight.

[00:29:10] And so mine are pushups and I have a friend, good friend, pat Bailey. He, uh, he coached for like 42 years. I think. Uh, he, uh, most recently was coaching at Oregon state for baseball. And now in his sixties, he's working, uh, with the fellowship of Christian now. And bales is just a, he's a wonderful guy, a great guy.

[00:29:34] Good, good friend, a good Christian man, a really faithful to, to the Lord and his wife and his kids, grandkids. And I lifted weights with pat when we were younger. And so I, I can't get his voice out of my head. And just, just today I was after a walk, I was. Deciding whether or not I wanted to do these pushups and I could hear bales in my mind.

[00:30:02] He was saying, you know, those pushups, aren't going to do themselves. If they're going to get done, they're going to get done by you. Let's go. And that's actually a pretty good imitation of pat Bailey. Um, but it motivated me. And, um, I would say that I, I think that appreciation Thanksgiving gratitude. Are so pivotal because they're a choice you have to choose to do it.

[00:30:32] You have to decide if you're going to be thankful, grateful, uh, appreciative. Um, and it's when we engage that amazing gift that God gave us a free moral agency, because. Uh, were made differently than the angels were made differently than the animals we were given free moral agency. Or in other words, we were created by God to be able to choose the upside as we can choose him, we can choose good.

[00:31:05] We can choose, um, you know, worthy things. The downside is that. You know, I'm a fallible man, so I know what it is to choose unworthy things. And I think what makes appreciation so amazing is that in order to do it, you have to choose it. And, uh, you know, that you're thankful. I mean, really, really thankful when it's hard to say, thanks when your circumstances beg you, they cry out.

[00:31:42] To complain to wine, to be bitter. And the spirit of God is within you inviting you, prompting you, encouraging you to be thankful. And there it is. There's the choice, the old man, the flesh that, that flesh nature within us doesn't want to be thankful. I want to be selfish. We want to complain. We want to, uh, be bitter and the spirit of God with them.

[00:32:10] Invites us to choose this Ray, it's the road less traveled, but if you choose it, you're going to find that it'll come back to you, press down, shaken together and spilling over. So that, that's my thought. I think the power of it is that it's a choice. And when our Thanksgiving is directed toward God, uh, it's worship.


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[00:32:35] David Dowlen: I think that gratitude gives you a perspective you don't have otherwise.

[00:32:39] Shaun McNay: Yes.

[00:32:41] David Dowlen: Just in the collection of people I've talked to, this

[00:32:49] is such a diverse group of people, right? If it was say I was doing the show and I was only talking to professing. Right. Then you would expect that if somebody, I I've talked to some really colorful characters and I would never judge where they stand with God, but I've talked to some very colorful people and some people have had just wreck past and come back around.

[00:33:18] And other people are still in really unique journeys on their own right now. But this diverse group of people. Just sat there and it's like, you know, gratitude is so important over and over again from one person after another. It's like, I, I just didn't even see that answer coming in some of the interviews.

[00:33:43] And I think it gives us a perspective that we can't have otherwise. I mean, you have to choose to be grateful. I think you're a hundred percent right on that. And so I think it starts to. When we choose that it changes the way we look at the world. Yeah.

[00:34:01] Shaun McNay: That the thing, this isn't going to sound real spiritual and that's okay.

[00:34:06] Sometimes the best stuff is the stuff that doesn't sound spiritual, that great theologian, Jimmy buffet, um, on saying that, uh, the song changes in latitude changes in attitude. Uh, Gratitude is like that. When we choose gratitude, our altitude changes. Our attitude changes. Our position changes when we choose to be grateful.

[00:34:34] And, and again, it not all gratefulness is directed toward God, but the gratefulness that is directed toward. Is is like, that's like a two second layer of, uh, of your favorite cake. It's it becomes worship. He accepts it as worship.

[00:34:55] Yeah.

[00:34:55] David Dowlen: So here's a question. Can you be truly grateful and not have a reaction to it?

[00:35:03] Right. Can you truly say you're grateful for something without it causing a reaction? Whether it's a, you know, I'm not saying like you jump at somebody, you're like, oh, thank you. Um, just, can you truly be grateful and not have some kind of mental and emotional reaction?

[00:35:25] Shaun McNay: Um, well the first place my mind goes to is, um, Some friends whose son, uh, drown, uh, right just after his 18th birthday.

[00:35:41] And, uh, it was an unexpected, he was a young man who would just, uh, the world would say, was bursting with potential. He was truly the kind of person that lights up a room when he walked into it and, and was just the joy and kind of the center. Of the universe to a lot of people, just really great guy. And they went through grief, deep, extended grief.

[00:36:13] And I, I know that there were times when they chose gratitude, um, when they didn't feel gratitude. So it was, um, like practicing a spiritual discipline. And I know there were times when it, there was no change in their emotions. They, the sorrow, it was a long time before much joy seeped in. Um, so I think you can be, it's easy to try to judge whether or not we're.

[00:36:51] Appreciative or thankful based on our feelings and what maybe may follow. Um, I think if you practice it, then eventually it's going to overwhelm you. I, I think there'll be something that there'll be this sounds. So, um, I don't know what it sounds like, but, um, there's a payoff. I don't know if the payoff always comes immediately.

[00:37:22] And that's that's, if you're looking for a quick fix, um, and somebody might be well, okay, I'm going to start being thankful. And then they, they they're working through something and maybe they're in, in grief of one sort or another, uh, they're just in a place where their circumstances are undeniably difficult.

[00:37:43] It doesn't mean that you're not thankful or grateful. Um, if you don't get an immediate feeling, I guess what I would say is, um, I think that that will come though. I think there's evidence, evidence all around us that says you can't practice, uh, gratitude and Thanksgiving without eventually having. Change change in attitude, change in latitude change in, uh, perspective.

[00:38:18] So long answer to a short question. I think change will come. I don't know that it will, in my opinion, that it always come immediately. Um, but we live in such a quick fix culture, right? Where we want it now, you know, we. Amazon prime. We want the article that we ordered before we order it. Right. We want it immediate.

[00:38:41] And, um, but that, that's not the real path to change. That's not the path to maturity either. So that's what I think.

[00:38:53] David Dowlen: I think, uh, Stephen Crane would agree with you. Some of the stories he told in his book were like, how do you find gratitude in that situation? So, yeah, sometimes, sometimes in the darkest places is the easiest to see the light.

[00:39:12] I think that's absolutely possible. What does gratitude in action look like? did you have something you wanted to say?

[00:39:19] Shaun McNay: No. What does gratitude and action look like? Uh, like. As I suppose we think that words, um, but congruency, like when our words and our actions meet, uh, they, they match or they're they're close or I, I don't know.

[00:39:44] I guess a hundred percent congruency would be somebody. Says everything that they do and they do everything they say, Jesus is probably the only example of somebody I could say was a hundred percent congruent. Um, so I think my first thought as well, what are the words that are proceeding, but then what, what are the actions, um, that, that you observed either in yourself or somebody that you think is grateful?

[00:40:13] Um, Man gratitude can sound like words of Thanksgiving. Um, affirmation, praise actions of gratitude are a sacrificial giving of one kind or another. Um, you know, that I just have a lot of stories in my mind of. Especially children who want to help, they see a need and they, they don't really not tied up in the value of sayings.

[00:40:51] So they want to give right. And maybe, maybe we can learn from kids, but, um, kids can, oftentimes we will cite them for being the example of selfishness or whatever, but we could probably find real good examples in the adult world of that. Um, sacrificial. Cheerful giving I think is, is a pretty good indicator of gratitude.

[00:41:20] David Dowlen: Now let's, let's define a sacrificial intentional because you know, with some of our listeners, those are big church words that aren't going to. Ring. I know what you're talking about growing up in the church, but those are words that we generally only associate with the church. They don't always translate well for people who haven't grown up in the church.

[00:41:44] so can we break that down.

[00:41:46] Shaun McNay: Sure. You bet. So I think you can tell, somebody could tell whether or not they are. Being sacrificial and they're giving in, in whatever form it is. If, if it doesn't cost you anything, then it's not sacrificed. Now it might be sincere, but, uh, for something to be sacrificial, it's going to cost you.

[00:42:12] And, uh, so if somebody gives out of abundance, Then it, so it's sacrifice can not be judged by the size of the offering of the gift what's given it's based on. Um, did it come out of abundance or did it come, uh, um, did it, did it cut into what you think you need? And so. You know, if, if somebody was like, I wonder if I'm a sacrificial giver, I guess I would say, did it cost you anything?

[00:42:53] Um, it, cause if you want it and there's nothing wrong with giving out of abundance, that there's nothing wrong with that. It says it's not a competition. Right. And the winner of the sacrificial giving is it's not that, but, but, uh, this idea. That to whom, um, to whom much is given much is required. But the flip side of that is the blessings will come back to those who give the most.

[00:43:24] Um, and that, that could, you know, if your listeners are familiar with the kind of the health and wealth prosperity gospel, I'm not preaching that. I, I, I don't ascribe to that. I'm just saying that there is a, uh, I, then I think it's a universal law, um, that when we give it has given back to us, and what's interesting is when we start looking behind like, well, where's that coming from?

[00:43:59] That's where I think some people. Actually meet God. Um, so it's cool. Yeah, but that's that's for another product. Nope.


[00:44:09] David Dowlen: We're going to ask some other time, but I do appreciate you breaking that down a little bit more. I know that's one of the things I used to get hit with all the time as a youth minister was, if I moved into Bible words with people with.

[00:44:25] But, I mean, it's the same thing in, in the industry, right? Uh, personal trainers at the gym who use big fancy term. So they sound smart are usually idiots. And they're just trying to impress their clients who don't actually know what they're talking about. So, uh, those guys drive me nuts and I could talk about computers till everybody in this room or listen to this podcast falls asleep because nobody cares and it's boring.

[00:44:51] Just talk about computers, especially when I started getting into techno jargon. So my wife was telling me she w she was, uh, attending a seminar today, online for a QuickBooks because she does bookkeeping. And she was trying to tell me about, I'm just like, great baby. You try not to nod off and she's going into these.

[00:45:14] I'm like, I don't even know what you're talking about.

[00:45:17] Shaun McNay: So you could do that with me and computers in a nanosecond. Oh, let's see what I did there. And then there are

[00:45:24] no.

[00:45:26] David Dowlen: So for anyone who wants to improve their life and start to live a life with gratitude, what are three actionable steps towards practicing more gratitude in a person's life that they can take right now?

[00:45:39] Shaun McNay: Huh? Three steps to. To, to live a life of gratitude,

[00:45:44] David Dowlen: practice, more gratitude in life

[00:45:46] Shaun McNay: practice.

[00:45:48] Um, well, the first thing I would say is, uh, have a plan, write it down, right? Like choose someone or something and commit to it. Like. Uh, you know, when you agree with somebody like, Hey, I want to do this right now. Somebody now you're accountable to someone.

[00:46:10] So I, I say, I would say the step number one is, uh, bring somebody else in for accountability, um, to, uh, set a date that you're going to do it. And if they really do want to practice it, like do it within 48 hours. Like, and, and then thirdly, I would say start with something small, not like I'm going to give a hundred thousand dollars and you know, you might not make a hundred thousand dollars in a year.

[00:46:45] It's like, don't do that. Just, if you want to start say, you know what, I'm going to, I'm going to buy the guy in line behind me at Starbucks. I'm going to buy us. And so those are the things I would say, get somebody that you're accountable to set, set a, a date, uh, you know, that you want to do it by and start small so you can do it.

[00:47:09] Um, you know, do it sooner rather than later,

[00:47:12] David Dowlen: Are you hearing what he's saying, those are all very intentional steps to practice gratitude. You have to be intentional. About your decisions. You have to be intentional and purposeful about what you're doing. It doesn't happen by accident. You don't stumble into it.

[00:47:32] It's like anything else good in your life, you have to be intentional about it for it to really take root. Nothing just happens. That's that fairy tale. We're all waiting for retirement for when I just happen to find the winning lottery ticket one day. Right. My wife keeps telling me I have to buy lottery tickets to win.

[00:47:51] I keep telling her if God wants me to have the money, I'll just find the winning lottery ticket. I got about the same chances, either way.

[00:47:58] Shaun McNay: My brother, uh, my brother Lindsey, he, um, he has a small group of people that he sends out. These what he calls coffee cups, sermons. I'll send you one it's we get them.

[00:48:09] Uh, it just started with him sending them to my brother, Scott and I, and. And, uh, but they're really good. Like, he'll write down a thought on a coffee cup while he's at church. I'm like, dude, pay attention to your pastor or so. Um, but they they're typically he'll take whatever he's hearing in the pastor sermon and sum it up into a statement he can put on a coffee cup and, uh, the coffee cup sermon from, uh, this last week was sail.

[00:48:41] Don't drink. And, uh, I like that because that's exactly what you're saying. There it's intentional. We, we never drift into ports of excellence. Right? You have to be intentional. You have to set the, set, the sail and take hold of the, you know, whatever controls the rudder and, and be aware of the wind. And you gotta be intentional in order to sail, um, into excellent port.

[00:49:12] You never, you know, if you went, when a boat hits the rocks, they drifted in. Unless the sailor is an idiot. He doesn't point the boat toward the rocks. Um, so that what you're saying about being intentional is what my brother Lindsey said in his coffee cup sermon, sail don't drift. Yeah.

[00:49:32] David Dowlen: That was way more eloquent than that. what I just said, so.

[00:49:36] Shaun McNay: It remember now three points to, uh, you're only three steps away from originality.

[00:49:41] David Dowlen: Oh yeah. That was going to work his way into mainly Monday. Eventually for sure. Sean, if people are looking to connect with you are to reach out to you, you know, where can they find you? Do you use social media?

[00:49:54] I know the church does YouTube and I'll put a link for the churches, YouTube in the show notes as well.

[00:50:01] Shaun McNay: Uh, well, I think that would be the best way. Uh, our contact information for the churches on the, just the, uh, we're online, uh, Quincy free Methodist church. Um, Q fmc.org I think is what it is. Um, our YouTube channel is, uh, Quincy free Methodist church.

[00:50:24] Um, we have a Facebook page and Instagram, but all you gotta do. You know, type in Quincy, free Methodist church and you'll get there. I, man, I I'd welcome any contact from any of your listeners if they want to have conversation or anything.

[00:50:43] David Dowlen: And you've actually nailed the SEO. Have you heard of SEO before?

[00:50:47] Shaun McNay: I have no idea. What you're talking about.

[00:50:50] David Dowlen: SEO is what the internet runs on is what Google lives on is search engine optimization. You typing Quincy free Methodist church on Google. Like I don't even have to fill it all the way out. It starts to fill it in. Quincy is a U unique enough name where the combination of free Methodist church. in there, YouTube, Google, it pops up. I wish my website popped up that easily.

[00:51:16] Shaun McNay: Well, it, if it pops up and it, if we've nailed, whatever it is that you said, we nailed, um, then you can know I had nothing to do with, uh, um, you know, technologically, I just a train wreck waiting to happen. So I'm glad, but thanks. Thanks bud.

[00:51:35] David Dowlen: Fair enough. So you guys we've touched on some really deep thinking today. Gratitude is a really deep thing. A couple Mondays ago, we talked about growing emotionally and spiritually, and gratitude is something that affects you on both levels is something deep within yourself. And it's a beautiful thing that will make you happier.


[00:51:58] It will make you have a better outlook on life. It will make you feel better about other people about yourself. So guys, while some deep thinking, it's actually a really easy lifestyle because the more you practice gratitude, the easier it gets to practice gratitude and the more route it takes in your life guys, and it will change your life forever.

[00:52:19] So practice your gratitude, execute on what Shaun said, you know, find someone to help you be accountable, make a plan and execute guys. It's Thanksgiving tomorrow. So happy Thanksgiving to you guys from our family here at the foul man, we pray that you get to be with people you love, and if you can't be with them tomorrow, our prayers are with you.

[00:52:43] Hopefully you can connect with them in other ways, in this crazy time in our lives, guys, count your blessings, even in trouble waters and as always be better tomorrow because of what you do today. And we'll see you on the.

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