In this episode:
A crazy Jesus-loving veteran!
Adam Palmer describes himself as “a crazy Jesus-loving veteran” and his story will blow your mind! He and Chris have fun unpacking his book All In as Adam shares story after story of how God was moving in his life even when he didn’t know it. From his roots in North Carolina Adam had to grow up quick and like many men he didn’t make the best decisions.
I saw this fear in his eyes. I felt that fear. It was a feeling that I was about to stand before God and I was guilty and I knew that I was going to be condemned…So I prayed 'whether I live or die today from here on out, I'm yours.' Click To TweetAdam Palmer
Welcome to the Lion Within Us, a podcast, sermon Christian men who are hungry to be the leaders they’re predestined to be. I’m your host, Chris Grainger. Let’s jump in. All right guys, this week, our scripture, what are we talking about? Matthew 13:44. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.
When a man found it, he hid it again. And then in his joy went out and sold all he had and bought that field. So guys go back to that spiritual kickoff, listen to that because it was a powerful verse. And I got that verse from our guests today. And we’re gonna be talking about all in for those in search of something more.
And I had to have with me, I have Mr. Adam Palmer and he is a medically retired staff Sergeant who served three combat tours. And received the purple heart for wounds received in combat. He’s been married to his wonderful wife of 14 years and a proud father to three kids. So we have that in common. We have, we both have three kids.
I we know that stress that goes with that, ah, he’s originally from North Carolina. So gotta love that I’m in North Carolina right now and he has his family now residing in Illinois. He has a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from grand canyon university and is passionate about mentoring and guiding young people.
I love that. I love that he recently authored a book, which you’re going to be talking about here and where, and the cool part about that book. He actually traveled 48 states in 48 days. If they didn’t want outreach and sharing, God’s love with the homeless community. I’ll tell you what, we’re going to talk about that a lot too.
So he currently serves as a community outreach leader, a director with a state line youth for Christ, or he leads a program seeking to build relationships between inner city, youth and the police. And he also leads a pretty military training ministry where he and his team of mentors. They actually mentor young people as they prepare for military service, getting them ready, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
And it’s just awesome. So his ultimate goal is making a positive impact in that lab as many people as possible. So guys, I’m so excited to have Adam Palmer, how are you doing today? My friend, I am so excited to have you a fellow, a North Carolina guy, too, man. So we got one. We have a lot in common.
02:15 Adam Palmer
They get double the accent.
02:19 Chris Grainger
That’s right. Doubled accent. That’s right. That’s right. But that’s okay. That’s what I signed up for. I’ll tell you, Matt, I love your book. First of all, guys it’s in the show. Notes is St. Up there got to get this, and we’re going to be talking about all in love, the title.
So maybe, and you broke this book down to your pre-Jesus story and then your team Jesus’ story. So let’s start off with the early stuff, man. So pre-Jesus stuff. Just give our listeners a little bit into your insight about your childhood.
02:51 Adam Palmer
Yeah. I like the I guess I identify myself as a crazy Jesus loving veteran.
It’s a miracle that I was that I ever authored a book. I had somebody at my local church. He said you doing pretty good for somebody barely tripped out the front door of your high school. And I said yeah thanks. My parents got my parents got divorced when I was very young.
I think I was probably around three and I don’t have many memories of them together, but I got lots of memories of everything that happened afterwards and custody battle and just growing up in that atmosphere where it’s just hostile. And I know a lot of kids grow up in that environment these days.
And I was in and around church. Like my I can remember, I guess I got baptized when I was six years old because basically it was Who wants to go to heaven instead of hell. And I was like that seems like a pretty obvious choice. So I raised my hand for that one.
At the same time I had no idea what sin was really. I had I really didn’t know the Lord. So as time went on middle school, I was a misfit. I was a fat kid and I was from a small town. So there was only like two of us in the whole class. So it was rough.
But I got picked out a good bit. I got bullied and I just had a lot of self esteem problems. I had a lot of confidence issues and I was just kinda lost in a lot of, in a lot of different ways. Spiritually. As far as like where I fit into society, acceptance from my peers I just, in my own identity, I just, I was just lost in a lot of different ways and it it didn’t really get much better as I went into high school is there was a, there was one main thing in high school is when I got I kinda intervened into a bully situation my freshman year.
And I ended up getting beat up in front of the whole school and that I already had so many self-esteem issues I already was battling all of that. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I didn’t see my worth and I didn’t really have a close relationship with Jesus yet. That was that was difficult.
And it was, and that was probably the first time ever. Contemplated taking my own life. And that ended up being a transition point for me to where my life went in a different direction, but it went in the wrong direction to where and I was basically like this ain’t never going to happen again.
And then I became what I envisioned as that tough guy persona. And I wanted people to think I was tough. I wanted nobody to ever beat me up like that again, or embarrassed me like that again. And that just led me down a road of violence and drugs and partying and alcohol and just basically chasing pleasure and establishing my worth in the wrong places.
And. That that didn’t get any better as I joined the military. And in fact it probably got a lot worse and I reached a point where I was just very lost. And I tell people, like I knew Jesus like I know Michael Jordan I could tell you some stats. I can tell you how many NBA championships he won.
I can tell you that he went to the greatest basketball school on planet earth and the university of North Carolina. I can tell you, I can tell you a lot of things about Michael Jordan, but I don’t know, Michael Jordan know he’s never come to dinner at my house. We’ve never broke bread together. I don’t know him.
I know of, and that’s where I was with Jesus is that I knew of Jesus. I knew about Jesus. I’m from the south. If you could grow up in the south without hearing about Jesus, Ah, you must be living up under somebody who’s bored. That was kinda where I was. And it made it possible for me to damage a lot of people and to be damaged by a lot of things, to that point though, right? You’re raised in the south. Jesus again, you have an opportunity to here pretty much everywhere at some point. But so many guys when they get to that age and for you it’s, it was in high school you had that interaction with that guy you had embarrassed and you made that switch, you know what?
08:35 Chris Grainger
Nope. That’s not happening again. So it sounds like you got stronger, but you also leaned into the wrong stuff with drugs and alcohol and sex and all those things. So why do you think so many guys choose that path? Because we obviously these guys we know Jesus is there. Is it, is there, is it the pull of that path that much stronger is that what’s pulling these
08:58 Adam Palmer
guys, you think and like you mentioned, I do inner city, youth ministry I’m working with a lot of young men in the hood because I’m in Rockford, Illinois, and it’s pretty rough out there.
I’m not going to lie to you. Lots of gun violence. And it’s the thing is the perception of what strength is, what toughness is, has been has been poisoned. And what they envisioned as a strong man is having money or having a gun or having lots of attention from women and things like that it’s the value system.
Where are you where a young man is just so tough. I see these guys all the time and they’re getting in fights and it’s always about disrespect. Somebody will disrespect somebody or say something to them on social media. And then next thing you know, they’re meeting up in the parking lot.
They have a fight or they’re jump, they’re jumping somebody, or from time to time somebody getting shot over it. And the thing is they never want to be perceived as weak. And to let anything slide to let anybody say anything about you or anything like that, and for you to not take action against that is perceived as weak, especially in the culture that they’re growing up in right now.
And it it clashes with Christ in a lot of different ways it’s if I’m gonna be a real man, then I need to turn your cheek, not turn mine, you know what I’m saying? That’s up and I think that’s a barrier that’s difficult because I think young men they’re looking around and they’re saying, what does a real man looked like?
And especially for these kids in the hood it’s a rapper on YouTube or it’s whatever they’ve seen growing up in their environment. Exactly. So that’s like a a godly man, typically they haven’t seen much of it, but when they have it’s a. And I don’t want to be disrespectful to anybody, but it’s not what they envisioned as a strong man.
11:49 Chris Grainger
Ah, thank you. You’re all over it there, Adam. That’s what we’re trying to talk about here, but the line within us when you think godly, man, sometimes that definitely strength doesn’t always come to mind. It’s a little bit more of the softer type guys. You know what I’m saying? And that’s not the type of guys that really they’re going to resonate with.
12:10 Adam Palmer
That’s a and I think it’s, I think it’s important for them to see a different type of guy that models Christ. Cause Christ what we Christ wasn’t a Christ. He was not that that’s, there’s one story in Luke’s gospel that always sticks out to me.
And it’s when he had read the, he had read the scroll of Isaiah in the Senate. And he was like today in your midst, this prophecy has been fulfilled and they were cool with it at first. And then next thing you know, the whole village has him up, has his back against a cliff and they’re about to toss him off the cliff.
And he said, and it says that he walked through their mist untouched. Oh man. That’s for you to have an angry mob about the murder, you just decide, you know what I’m walking through here and ain’t nobody gonna put a hand on me that that then looks off. That’s tough,
13:26 Chris Grainger
man. That’s tough.
And that’s what that’s who we serve. I always go straight to where he cleaned out the temple. You mean he didn’t show up with. He went out and made the whip. Nan came back then and cleaned house. And it didn’t say to end, the disciples helped him. No, this was a solo job. Clean the temple out by himself with a whip.
He may as, Hey th the God we serve, everybody talks about the the lamb of God, which is great. We gotta have that, but we gotta remember the lion of Judah to amaze fully lion and fully lamb. And that’s what I feel like some of these young guys that they’re not getting that part, they’re just hearing in Churchill let’s face it.
A lot of times church doesn’t do any favors. They let these guys think manlihood like, or masculinity you think about when you go to church service, a lot of times we’re singing songs where it sounds like we’re singing, Jesus is our boyfriend that’s just, that’s not going to be like, resonating with dudes to want to keep going.
So there’s so much that’s a whole another rabbit trail, but I don’t know what your thoughts are there. I’ll tell you, and I’ve discussed this with some of my ministry colleagues. I think that in ministry and in the church, and even in youth ministry and anybody has done it, you feel a pressure to keep people coming to your ministry site because without them, there you came.
14:47 Adam Palmer
And so there’s almost like this, an, this unwritten rule this condo undercover pressure to where you almost have to be sweet all the time. So you don’t ruffle any feathers. So you don’t want to say it anybody that way they’ll keep on coming back, because if they don’t come back, then you don’t have the opportunity to minister to them.
And plus, if you don’t have the numbers, then your job performance is going to be judged based on those numbers, whether you like it or not, or whether it’s right or not. But and so I think that there’s pressure there, but I’m going to be honest with you, Chris and I’ve succumbed to that pressure.
But man, about a month ago I was driving down to pick up one of my stupid. And I and I hope you give me a minute to share this. Absolutely. And we’re headed down, I’m headed down the road and traffic is stopped and I see the traffic stop coming the other way too. And I’m like, what’s going on here?
We’ve got a bunch of turkeys in the road or something what’s up and I see some smoke and, but there was no emergency vehicles or anything like that. So I opened up, I put down my window when I hear a scream. And immediately it, the, I guess the soldier in me or whatever God’s put in me just kicks in and I’ve had a good bit of training.
And rather fortunately, or unfortunately, I don’t know how you’d look at it, but I’ve been a lot of messed up situation and I just take off running and there’s a guy. So the car is on fire. And I get up there and there’s a couple like older people, like seventies, age and age, and they’ve managed to get this guy out of the car, but he’s probably at least three 50, maybe 400 pounds.
And so all they was able to do was get his seatbelt off and roll him out the car. But of course is fully engulfed in flames at this time and it’s getting worse. And so I get up there to dude’s unconscious and him looking good. And me and another guy, we we each grab a leg and we drag him away from the vehicle.
And we get him far enough away to where I felt like, Hey, if this thing starts blowing all fragments and whatnot, we’ll be okay. And it was far enough away to where it the heat wouldn’t really own us. So I could start doing some CPR on him and start compressions. Cause he didn’t have a pulse or at least I couldn’t indicate.
But, like I said, he’s a big person, so it’s hard to fill a post on somebody’s neck fat and stuff like that. But so I started doing compressions on him and and I’m praying over him and stuff like that. And by the time the paramedics got there they took over and as I was about to leave, I talked to him.
I said, Hey how’s he doing? Is he gone? Cause I assumed he was already gone. But they said that he was still hanging on. When I left the scene and I got home, I went on and did my ministry thing even with blood on my pants because I was like I drove this far. So might as well go and do what I was going to do.
I get home later and I’m trying to find out what’s what happened. And it turned out that the guy passed away and he was 21 years old. I don’t know anything about the guy. There was hardly anything I’m not really on social, I’m on LinkedIn. That’s about it. I’m not on Facebook or any of that stuff.
It’s too distracting for me. But try to find stuff on this guy and nothing. And it was almost like it was almost like his life didn’t matter, man. I just, to be honest and he was 21 years old and I was like, this guy, no Lord where was he going with his life?
What was his story? And I knew which I had already had an increased boldness in. Before that, but that, cause I had to make sense out of that, cause when you pray over somebody that they’ll live and they don’t, then obviously God had a different plan. So what do you make out of that?
And for me I was just like he had me in there in that place at that time for that reason. And it’s just to encourage, to continue to press on me a sense of urgency, especially with these young men to get right with God, because at any given moment, man, your time card get punched.
That guy was just driving down the road that day and then passed out or whatever and hit a tree. And that was it for him. 21 years old driving home, fell asleep in a tree, gone.
20:03 Chris Grainger
You never know, Adam, and that’s the thing you gotta be ready at all times. And as kudos to you for stepping in and for trying to help him.
But this, to your point, you gotta be every day on fire for Jesus and trying to lead people to him and trying to serve them in the best way that you possibly can. That, that’s what the gospel is about and go out and make disciples. And I won’t take a quick break now.
I want jump in out. Cause I want you to talk to us about that moment that led you to Jesus. Cause that was really powerful. And your story that I know you’d love to share that. So we’d be right back.
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Our guys we’re back here. And then we’ll talk with Adam Palmer and again, all in for those in search for something more, check out the show notes, sink up, go get this book, go ahead and do it before this episode’s over make that happen. But Adam, I want you to talk to these guys about that moment that you found Jesus.
Cause it was a pretty powerful moment. I remember reading this story and I think it could be something that resonates with a lot of our guys out there. So you mind sharing that?
21:50 Adam Palmer
Absolutely. And when, and when I wrote the book, I said, This is the part of the story that when I envision someone reading the book, that’s the part that I envisioned them reading because that’s when I really feel like I came into a true relationship with Jesus.
And for some background stuff, like I had turned into a pretty grimy person and there were multiple instances. My first two tours in Iraq where I took other human beings lives in combat. And and even outside of that, man, I was just, I was that guy that was always looking for a fight.
If you looked at me wrong or whatever, like I’d always find a reason to get in a fight. It’s funny how, it’s funny, how before Jesus, I couldn’t go out to a bar without getting in a fight, but since Jesus ain’t been in one, it’s funny how that works out But I had I had heard a lot of people and I had done a lot of things that I knew were wrong, even when I did them.
And I guess I had been running from God for a long time. And when my daughter was born right before that deployment, I had an experience with God that kind of really shook me up and it felt like man I think God might be real. I think he might really actually care about me.
And I think he might actually have earned my prayer. And so I kinda went into that third deployment for the first time in my life was something to lose because my first two deployments, I was single. Now I’m married. I got a kid my daughter was just a, it wasn’t born a month before I left for that tour.
And I was in a different head space that time for sure. But yeah, we were riding along one day and I was joking around with my driver and just all of a sudden boom and at first I didn’t know exactly what had happened. I didn’t know. I didn’t know I was injured at first because like I had done two tours already and I’d been hit by a good mini IBDs.
So like I thought that the truck had just took it as it had done and other IED explosions I’d been involved with before. And but then I realized that I was hurt and I noticed that I was bleeding really bad from my leg. I tried to put pressure on it and my arm was just hanging off.
I just saw my scar. I just, I got a scar, but. Yeah
24:51 Chris Grainger
24:53 Adam Palmer
No, so it’s a, I call it my forearm because it’s half by and half forearms. So it’s my, but I hear you. But so like that, my hand was just hanging off and I was just yeah I was in bad shape and they got me into the other vehicle and I went into shock and I couldn’t move anymore.
I couldn’t speak anymore. I was just seized up and I could remember seeing a guy that was in a similar circumstance enemy combatant that we treated. And right before he passed away, I saw like this fear in his eyes. And I felt that for you. And it was a feeling that I was about to stand before God.
And I was guilty and I knew that I was going to be condemned if I’ve stood before God that they in judgment, I knew I wasn’t right with God. And I prayed. I said, Lord, I believe you are who you say you are. I believe that you have the power to forgive my sins. And I’ve lived a horrible life. I’ve heard a lot of people, I’ve done a lot of people wrong and I’ll say it I asked you, please forgive me and saved me.
And I said whether I live or die today from here on out, man, I’m yours. And and I just asked, I said, Hey please take care of my girls. I’m ready to go. And then crazy stuff happened. My they’d been trying to get an Ivy started, but like the medic couldn’t hit a vein cause I’d lost a lot of blood.
No, my gunner jumps up, grabs the needle out of the docks. And cause all of this prayed was inside. Like I said, I couldn’t talk it was just me inside my spirit I guess. And they get Ivy started and I come out of shock and I was just, I had this sense of peace that I can’t explain. And I was just at peace, the rest of the ride to the next Bob.
And then when they opened the doors, everything went back to the way it was. But in that period, it was like, God was just holding me in the Palm of his hand. And and the other, that was my turning point right there. That’s that’s the day I was born again. That’s an amazing story out of them. And a lot of healing and recovering and I’m sure that had to come after that. W what was the hardest part there? As you tried to just physically heal, but also what’s your spirit you’re walking with the Lord now. So what ha how are things
It was, it’s one of those things where you almost, it’s almost you give your life to Christ and you would almost expect that just everything would be healed and that you would be perfectly fine the next day. And you’re stuck sunshine and unicorns and rainbows and chocolate chip cookies for everybody.
And no, I didn’t, it didn’t work like that. It sucked, like it was miserable. Like I was getting a surgery every other day. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep my arm. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk again. Cause cause I broke both my legs and that I had shrapnel in both legs.
I had treadmill in my back. I had all this stuff so I mean I’m at Walter Reed medical center at the only amputee ward. A long time and it was a, it was like a, it was like, I started to doubt what had happened to a certain extent it was like did God really hear me get saved?
Am I because this sucks, cause this is not going well. And I actually, that’s when I started to really struggle with suicidal thoughts again and but somebody, God put the exact right person at the exact right time at the exact right place to turn me around. It was this guy, his name is Brendan Morocco.
You can look him up. Like you just got a double arm transplant not long ago, which was cool, but I’ve never really talked to the guy other than this. I’m getting wheeled down. It was my first day in a wheelchair cause I was stuck in the bed for three weeks and I was able to get into the wheelchair.
And my grandmother’s taking me down to get a haircut because this this doesn’t look good when it gets all grown out. Like it’s mad. And I always tell people, I looked like a defective chia pet so I’m going down to get a haircut and I’m looking at the tiles on the floor and I’m trying to figure out a way I could kill myself and I’m that much more discouraged because I can’t even figure out a way to do it.
I was like, man, oh, you’re a big, tough soldier guy. You know what I mean? You’re just supposed to be this bad dude. You can’t even kill yourself. What are you? And I just, I had, I heard this voice that said. And I’ll pick up my head. And I looked at this guy and he had lost all four limbs in an eye and he and he said, keep your head up, man.
It gets better. And I was like, wow. And I said, you know what, if this dude, after everything he’s been through after losing everything, he’s lost man, I still got my limbs. I like I didn’t know if I was going to get to keep my arm yet, but I was like, I still got so much compared to this guy.
And I said, you know what, I’m not gonna put my head down anymore. I’m gonna, I’m gonna try to motivate others. I’m gonna try to motivate myself. And that’s when, like I remembered that I had made that commitment to Christ and that he had saved me. And then right about that time. Ooh, I got it with me.
I’m happy right. About that time. Oh, a chaplain came. And handed me this old beat up Bible. And when it, and it’s got my luck, it’s got my name and my rank and everything like letters on it and stuff. And I realized that I didn’t know Jesus, like personally I just heard stuff and I just started digging into the gospels and digging in and digging in.
And man I just fell in love with Jesus and I got, yeah. And it just transformed my life. Like I could just feel myself becoming a different person. All of the bitterness, all of the shame, all of the guilt just started to slowly wash away little by little and I started changing.
And yeah and like I actually became a new creation,
32:25 Chris Grainger
but yeah, I thank you also to do your point, that didn’t happen overnight. Just, it was slowly right. And that’s where I think so many guys get tripped up on when their faith is a, they make this I’m so glad you said it too, because I say it all the time.
When the guys they decided to follow Jesus and then when the first thing doesn’t go their way they’re turning their back on it. And that’s that’s the faith that w that just doesn’t have the root as the parable talks about, it gets plucked up by the verbs, or it gets scores by the sun because of faith.
Didn’t really, it didn’t penetrate, but it finally for you, I think that chaplain, he was there at the right place. And also that gentleman who lost all his lamps, he was there at the right place. And that was what you needed. You needed that little bit to push you because we gotta be pushed as guys.
We had to be pushed a little bit. We need a little friction in our lives, but then you leaned into it and that’s the beauty of it. And it’s a, but it’s a daily pick up your cross and follow me. It’s daily you don’t, that’s what it’s all about. And I think guys, sometimes when it gets tough, man, they just, they give up.
I’m hoping the conversations like this would encourage them to keep going well You didn’t get lost overnight. That’s right. If you spent 20 years walking deep into the woods, what makes you think it’s going to take five hours to get out? That’s that’s The deep bro that’s deep for North Carolina guy now.
I hear you.
33:55 Adam Palmer
I’ve been lost in the woods go, man. That’s I think that’s one of the things, but that’s why it can’t be based on your own work. So you that’s one thing that I think we got to really understand what differentiates Christianity from everything else is grace man.
Like he’s good. He has given us forgiveness. He is bad for us. We didn’t. We can’t earn it and don’t think oh wow, I messed up. Now God don’t want nothing to do with me no more. I can’t do this and that. He’s already done it. He’s already paid the price for your sins he’s already done that, that squared away.
Now you just live for him out of gratitude, and you live for him out of gratitude for cause like like that’s one thing is like the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the Sanhedrin and all of the religious leaders that Jesus is just blasted all throughout the gospels. Like he is lasting them joking.
They prove that by doing it yourself, all it does is make you into a self-righteous person. It looks down on everybody. We’ll see the cross puts us all on the same plane, so yeah, mess up and I talked to God about it and then I try to do better. I repent of it and I’ll say, Hey God and my bed, I sh I had to do it today.
Like I had to do it. I got impatient and mad at this thing we were doing for good Friday at our church, because I thought it was going to make me late for this right here. And I’m up in there, man. Just dang, why is it taking so long? Why we gotta wait here to do this? And then I had to talk to God about it.
I had to ask him for forgiveness because I’m not representing him. Then I had to tell my wife and kids, Hey guys, man, I’m sorry. I had a bad attitude in there and I was impatient and I’m not being Christ like when I do that. So I’m sorry. I apologize for that. It was like if Jesus loved you, when you were.
Smelling but cracks in the strip club. What makes you think he doesn’t love you now? That’s right. If he loved you when you were at your worst, when you were a killer and an adulterer and all that stuff. Why would he love you less now that you’re actually trying he’s done it all.
It’s all about him. It ain’t about us. It’s about him. He’d done it, and now we just live out of that gratitude.
36:50 Chris Grainger
That’s right. Not a lot of times when I’m talking to guys, I go straight to this couple words. It’s not about you. It’s all by him. If you just remember, it’s not about you and you quit worrying about your circumstances and what can you do to serve him.
It all comes into picture. It really does. And I liked it. Let’s take a quick break. Cause then I want you, you have a story. You know that in this book, it was a mission trip. That is amazing. And I think that’s going to really inspire a lot of guys. And I know you had some fun things that you’d like to talk about that.
So let’s take a quick break and then we’ll jump into that story.
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All right, guys. We’re back here with Adam and he’s just, he’s bringing the rain today, guys. This North Carolina roots there they’re coming out, so I’m loving it. But Adam, you talked about in the story, you really get to a place where you had an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord in 48 days.
Can you give us a little, give us some insight, paint walls going on there.
38:55 Adam Palmer
And I, and it’s weird because I’ve never had one other than this, but I had a vision and I’m not trying to come off as creepy or whatever. And I don’t want people to think that I’m any weirder than I actually am, but.
But not, I was just sitting there and I just had this vision of like everybody at this like party I was at just kinda got blown away. I was like in this protective bubble thing and I didn’t know what to make out of it, and and I really I wasn’t messed up or anything like that.
I wasn’t on anything. It was, but I was at a place where everybody at this party I think that I was the only one that like, had a love for Jesus, cause I always tell people like, if nobody knows that you’re a Christian, then you’re not. And I hate I just, I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings and stuff, but the fact of the matter is there’s no such thing as a closed.
And I was the only one that was like, definitely on fire for the Lord there. And I didn’t know what to make of it. And I was going home and I just I was praying about it. I’m like, I don’t know what to do with this. Cause I never had anything like that happened before. And all of a sudden, just the, just the intense burden of the lost just came on me.
And I just started thinking there’s so many people that they don’t know the Lord and they, and if they die in their sins see, and I’ve had people, they always want to argue with me. They want to be like, oh, what about somebody? What if somebody has never heard about Jesus?
What happens to them when they. Yeah. Oh if you grew up in Iran, you would be a Muslim right now instead of a Christian. So you know, this lots of blood, the gloves and all that. I said, yeah, that’s cool. I don’t really know. I don’t really know how to answer that. To be honest, I’m not the judge. I don’t know how God’s going to play that.
I’ve studied the Bible a good bit and things don’t look great. I said, but there’s one thing that I’m sure of is that Jesus says that we’ll be judged on that, which we’re accountable for. I said, so if you live in the United States of America and you’ve been hearing about Jesus your whole life, you need to be worried about you because you’ve been hearing it your whole life and you ain’t done nothing about it other than the, not him.
So I don’t know what’s going to go. I don’t know. I can’t tell you exactly. What’s going to happen to that travel person. Who’s never heard the gospel, but I can tell you this much. If you keep denying Jesus Christ, you embed shape, buddy and see that. So American. Collectively we’re all in that situation.
Because we’ve heard constantly heard to the point to where we don’t even think about it anymore. And that’s a very dangerous place to be. And that that’s kinda where my heart was. And I was in tears. Like I was crying so hard that I had to pull over and stopped driving.
It was like, I couldn’t see. And that was when I just really started seeking God. And I was like, God, I feel like you want me to do something. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what it was but I love America. I bled for America. I love America is the greatest country ever, man, everybody, I love lives here.
And I was like, there’s got to be some way that I can share the gospel, just all over the place with everybody everywhere. And so like at first I had envisioned this. What they did in Canada recently, where they had just that giant convoy, the truckers envisioned that it said like a gospel movement but I couldn’t get anybody else to do it.
So I was like I don’t know. Am I just crazy? Which I know I’m a little crazy, but I was like it was just like crazy just imagine that God wants me to do this, cause I kept going and like the Bible, the great commission and go and make disciples. It’s just they’re everywhere.
I looked there go forward, go forth. And I’m like, all right, cool man. And so I was like, you know what, I’m just going to do it. And. Yeah. I tried to raise money for it and I planned it all out real well, logistically and stuff, nothing was happening. And I was like, man, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s going to work.
I don’t know what’s going on. And then out of nowhere, one of my old battle buddies hit me up. And he had been going through things and stuff and he was like, Hey, I gave my life to Christ. I heard you’re going on a mission trip. I’m coming. I’m like what? And so then in a matter of I want to say two months, things just popped.
And all of a sudden I just started having all these speaking appearances at these churches and all of this stuff just happened. And like people found out about it and I started donating Bibles and donating, like my aunt just gave us. 10,000 or 20,000 gospel tracks and all the, like these churches would invite me to come speak and then they would have a love offering for us.
And so yo it, in the matter of just a couple months right there, and after I’d been working my tail off and accomplishing nothing for a year and the last two months, God just did everything. Like literally
45:13 Chris Grainger
everything he wants to move, he moves, man.
45:16 Adam Palmer
Everything I did was nothing. And then he just did everything.
And but see that’s the thing is I think God likes to use idiots like me from time to time, because there was no way I could do this. Hey, there’s no way I could take credit for this. Like it was all him, man. I’m just going to give him all the credit because it was all him, everything I deal with.
But yeah, it ended up happening and we lived in a U haul cargo van and we went to a different city in a different state every day. And we would just find either where the most people were or where the most homeless people were. And we would just get out there and we’d love on them and we’d be sweet to them.
And we’d a handout, gospel tracks, and a cold bottles of water and granola bars. And if people wanted Bibles would hook them up with a Bible and we’d pray with people and just love on people, man, we just tried to, we were like special forces for Jesus, man. We just roll up in your hood and dismount.
And there we were, it was so crazy, man. It was so like, God just kept us safe the whole time. Nobody messed with us. We didn’t have no flat tires, man. We even had drug dealers. It was pulling security for
46:40 Chris Grainger
crazy. Now you face some persecution though through it, right? You had, I think I read in your book a couple of times where somebody got it got real there for a few moments.
46:52 Adam Palmer
Oh yeah. And like before the show we were talking about that the lady in Arkansas was calling us false prophets and screaming at him and all of that we had a dude that was a, I don’t know, I think he might’ve been also PCP, but if there’s anybody that I’ve come across, that was most likely possessed by a demon, it was this guy.
He was running around in a blue cookie monster onesy pajamas. And he was cussing Jesus, his name at us, which was very interesting. He wasn’t cousin us. He was cursing Jesus’s name and our director. Which I thought was very strange. And if I was going to go back, do it again, man.
I don’t know. I might try to cast it out or something. I don’t know. I’m looking more into that, but I’m not good enough to talk about that yet, but Jesus was doing it so something’s there. But the fact like he was like calling Jesus the B word and like very strange.
It was. And then like we had, it was times where, like we were talking to Muslims where I thought we might, I thought they might swing on us a couple times, but it never did. And yeah there was time. It was times it was one time I got into it. Pretty good, which it was more of a debate, more of an argument with a, I don’t know if you’ve heard of the black Hebrew Israelites.
They were in Chicago and we got into it with them. Oh. But by the end of the discussion, it turns out that I am a black Hebrew Israelite. Okay. Okay. Did not know that, but apparently I have been accepted because I have native American in my blood line somewhere. So that was the only, that was the only way they could end the argument because I was not going to go away.
49:05 Chris Grainger
It sounds like that was just an amazing trip. 48 states, 48 days, gospel tracks. I mean that’s gotta be a highlight for your life in general. Yeah. But I won’t, man I won’t do that stuff all the time. Exactly. Like I don’t like that’s the thing is I don’t want to, I don’t want to hang my hat on anything, man.
49:31 Adam Palmer
I want to keep my hat on. In all honesty, I feel like the Christian life is supposed to be like that. I got really feel like we’re supposed to be just empowered in the holy spirit. I feel like we’re supposed to be doing stuff like that all the time. Yeah, that’s right. I felt like we were supposed to be seeing cool stuff and people come to Jesus and people get healed and I like, I feel like the Christian life is supposed to be an adventure where it’s us and Jesus out there changing the world, man, changing lives, doing awesome stuff.
I really don’t think that the Christian life is supposed to be going to church on Sunday for an hour or two, not drinking and not going to strip clubs and paying a mortgage. Like I just feel like the Christian life is supposed to be so much more than this. I feel like we’re supposed to be making disciples.
I feel like we’re supposed to be changing. And so that’s what I want to do. That’s what I want my life to be about all the time.
50:43 Chris Grainger
That’s what it is, man. We’re called to do. We need to step up and take the lead as Christian men and be those leaders and then step out and do these things.
And you’re right. It’s not just church or Wednesday night service or not doing not looking at porn or things like that, that you shouldn’t be doing anyway. It’s leading our families and being that example when maybe any advice, if you got guys are listening right now, I hadn’t met you that you’d want to just give them, you maybe hit them between the eyes.
Maybe they’re struggling with something. They’re trying to figure out how to move forward to be that leader. What are you telling those guys?
51:19 Adam Palmer
Hey, where you asked for Chris? To be honest, man, doing youth ministry with these young kids in the hood the. The biggest problem I see in our society right now is fatherlessness.
So first and foremost, if you’ve got kids and you’re not in their life, you need to do your job and you need to get in their life. I don’t care how crazy their, your baby’s mama is, or your ex-wife or your ex-girlfriend or whatever excuses you got. You need to get any kid’s life right now because you’re messing up the whole world.
First and foremost, if you have fathered children and you’re not in their lives, get in their lives. Oh I think that if you’re a Christian man there are mentoring opportunities everywhere to feel the gap in this fatherless epidemic, man, because that’s all of the troubled teens that I’m working with, man, that’s one thing that they all have in.
Either they’ve lost a daddy to violence or drugs or whatever, or prison or the dad is not in their life or the male that they have in their life is a horrible male role model. And so if you have something to offer, you need to get out there and do it, and you need to find ways to take these young men under your wing and like I’m in professional ministry. But for most of the time that I’ve been that I’ve only been in, in youth ministry, as a profession, as a full-time job for about three years. But before that I was mentoring young man. Because it was the right thing to do, and it’s because of what God’s called me to do.
And I think that NFI, and if I got fired tomorrow, which I’m a little crazy and sometimes I’ve saved stuff, I shouldn’t say so it’s a possibility. But if I get fired tomorrow, I’ll still be mentoring and giving Jesus to the young people that are around me. And so that’s that’s, what we need to be doing is we’ve got a generation of young men right now that they are the most lost and confused generation that has ever walked the earth.
They’re being hit with everything from our lot of crystals, and everything in between. And they’re being told that if you want to, that that basically you hit. You either need to be a rapper or a YouTube star or a drug dealer or whatever. Like they have no idea what it means to be a man.
They have no idea what it means to bear across, to put a roof, put to put responsibility on your back, to carry a load. They have no idea. And they need to be told. And so that’s the thing is I think that I’ve heard, it said every Paul needs a Timothy and every Timothy needs a Paul.
And so that’s the thing is if you’ve got something to offer, Hey, find a way do you know how to shoot a bow? You know how to go? Do you know how to do you know how to tie a hook on a fishing line? You know what I mean? You know how to fix a car. Do you know how to fix a lawnmower? Because I guarantee you, if you walk up, but most of these teenage boys right now, they don’t know how to do any of those things.
And they would love it. I took, we took we took about 13 youth of young men out this past fall had a men’s ministry day with them. It was dope. It was something God put on my heart and we were able to execute it. And I loved it. And two of them, two out of 13 and ever been fishing before in their entire life.
Wow. That’s the thing is let’s find ways to, to mentor these young men, you know that. So I think that’s what we need to be doing. That’s right. That’s right. Hey, my boss, man, just walked in.
You got to be famous. Hey, well down. Hey, this is my buddy Richard. Hey, rich. Yeah. Yeah, he’s a good dude. Keep an eye out for him.
56:06 Chris Grainger
Adam man, this has been great, man. I got last one here. What’s one thing you want the lions out there to guys listening to remember from your book and from this conversation today, if you had one message to give them
56:20 Adam Palmer
one message. Wow. Hey, you hit me with a tough one there, man. Oh, you know what? It matters.
Every everything matters look looking at your own life. And I think that the one cool thing about writing a book, you should look at your own life. You look at your own story and see the way that you were impacted by other people. See the way that you were impacted for the gospel yourself.
See the way that. People came into your life that God used other people in your life, either for the negative or for the positive God could do everything himself. All right. He’s omnipotent, he’s all powerful. He could do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it. He doesn’t need an idiot like Adam to do anything.
In fact, I’ll probably mess up more stuff than if I just did what he told me to. Oh. For some reason God chooses to use us. Any muses to be like for us to be co-laborers with him. Yeah. And so and a lot of times the things that I think didn’t really matter, like sometimes that’s the things that had the biggest impact on somebody.
We need to realize, especially as Christian man, that God is going to be judged based on us. It’s not fair. It’s not fair at all because we know we’re sinners. We know we’re imperfect, right. But God is going to be judged based on us. I saw this little sign on a church where I’m from. It said you’re the only Bible some people are ever going to read.
And the thing is in that 48 day journey. And I’m talking to people about God every day on that stuff. And I’m talking to him everyday about God now that’s what I do. Most of the people who have lived the faith, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Jesus.
It has to do with some way that they were hurt in the church. Some Christian that they looked up to messed up and they hurt and they got hurt. You know what pastor was embezzling money they’re sleeping with the secretary or a Christian man in their life maybe cheated on their mama and led to the divorce or stuff like it.
We gotta realize that everything matters and we need to try to live to honor Christ in everything that we do. Because that’s kinda what it’s about being all in is, Hey figure, figure it out, man. Do you really believe in Jesus? Did he really die for you?
Or not like making a decision, make a decision and rolling. And that, but if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna claim to be a Christian, don’t be making Jesus look bad, man. I guess that would be in a
1:00:04 Chris Grainger
nutshell. I love it. It was a great answer, man. I tell you what last question for you?
Give me something I like to end on a little something like what’s a fun fact about Adam that people would never guess, man,
1:00:16 Adam Palmer
I’m not going to do it. Okay. I’m not going to do it on here because this is going to be preserved forever in some AI machines, mine. Oh but I can Burt the entire ABCs in one version.
1:00:34 Chris Grainger
1:00:37 Adam Palmer
I get a, I get, I found a way that, where I can inhale air directly into my stomach. So I can burp like the longest anybody I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
1:00:47 Chris Grainger
All right. That’s definitely the funniest answer we’ve had to that question, man.
1:00:52 Adam Palmer
There you go.
1:00:55 Chris Grainger
This has been great, man. I’ll tell you what I love the book.
Where do you want people to go to connect with you to learn more? We’re going to sync it all up in our show notes, but just, if you want to give a shout out where do you hope people go to, to check this out?
1:01:08 Adam Palmer
I guess it’s on Amazon. I don’t know. I could probably send you the link for the noble.com.
If people want it if you can’t afford it, man, you can message me on LinkedIn, man. I’ll send you a copy, man. I ain’t worried about the money. I just want to change people’s lives and but I think that it’s if, especially for veterans, other combat veterans that are struggling to find their identity after the service, especially dealing with suicide and things like that.
Guilt and shame from their service this, and this is, I think it could be a really good resource to help them to establish their identity in Christ. Prisoners, knuckleheads. I wanted to write this book as something that just an every day dude or lady which I do mostly ministry with men and my wife likes it that way.
So I’ll usually just say regular dudes some, something that I not an avid reader could read and enjoy. That’s what I was shooting for to where it was just like me talking to you but yeah like I said, I’m not on, I’m not on social media other than LinkedIn.
And I’m not gonna give out. It’s all
1:02:29 Chris Grainger
good. We’ll make sure like your
1:02:32 Adam Palmer
LinkedIn or whatever, man. I’m down for sure
1:02:36 Chris Grainger
in our show, knows guys go there cause we’ll have Adam’s LinkedIn profile and then we’ll have the links directly for the book. So you can go and get that added to your library.
Adam, this has been a pleasure, my friend, thank you so much for sharing it. And for coming on the line within us, I’ve had just an absolute blast hearing your story and what you’re doing. You are all in Bravo.
1:02:58 Adam Palmer
Hey, you stay in the fight, man. Hey, and what you’re doing makes a difference. And lots of guys need encouragement, man.
It’s tough out there. Absolutely up there. We’re battling the flesh. We’re battling spiritual battles and stuff and we’re selfish by nature and yeah, nah I appreciate what you’re doing, man. You stay in the fight, bro.
1:03:24 Chris Grainger
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all right, guys, that was a powerful conversation with Adam. I’ll tell you what water guy, right? Serve his country had so many things that he had happened to him down the wrong path. Ultimately serving the Lord and liquid he’s doing now. He’s changing the lives of men every day.
Let’s say I hope you enjoy it as much as I did again, St. Up to the, go to the show notes. Everything’s there. You can get a copy of his book. Definitely encourage it for you guys. And you elaborate as you’re building it out. The question that I want you to think about is where have you gone all in, in your life.
You need to really consider that where have you gone all in, in your life? Is there you go, guys, you enjoyed this conversation. I encourage you share with all the people. Get it out there. Don’t just sit on it. Go get the Bible firstname.lastname@example.org, joined the lion’s den. This is how we grow the community.
Okay. Give us a rating and review again. This is a powerful conversation. I want you to be all in. We want to be all in with you. We are here to support you. We’re here to serve you. We are here to fight alongside of you. He’s coming after you and we want to be here. We want to be that encouragement to gas us.
Be all in, have a great week. Go out, unleash the lion within.
He joined the Army and shares about how one explosion changed everything. Lying at the brink of death Adam made peace and surrendered his life to Jesus. By a miracle he survived and was awarded the prestigious Purple Heart.
Guys one thing you need to know about Adam – his energy is contagious! He has a passion for life and is making a HUGE impact on so many around him. He shares an incredible story of how he and a fellow Purple Heart veteran shared the Gospel in 48 states in 48 days! The entire journey from how the trip came together, the lives touched and even demonic attacks from the Cookie Monster (you read that right – listen to hear the whole story).
Adam now serves the youth in his town and helps heal relationships between law enforcement and the next generation. He also is helping others prepare for a life of military service and sharing his experiences and knowledge to prepare them for what lies ahead. He does all of this out of a servant mindset and his desire to help others is incredible.
Out of all the items he shares he wants you guys to know one simple item – it matters. Everything you do as a man makes an impact. It could be positive or negative but it matters. He encourages men to go ALL IN for Jesus and live everyday knowing that what you do and the impact you make matters. This was an action packed conversation and we highly encourage the Lions out there to support Adam by adding his book to your library. You won’t be disappointed.
Enjoy this one fellas – we want you to go All In and we are here to support you. Join the Lions Den to be part of a band of brothers that are helping each other grow in Christ. Get after it and unleash the Lion Within!
Connect with Adam Palmer
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