Jason opens up about his past, Poke the Preacher needs a new title, and special guest April Mac talks about her faith, and how God has led her down an amazing path to help so many dealing with trauma in their lives. Find out if Nathan gets his first Bible trivia victory. Also check out the songs of the week!!!
Save the Website!! www.aprilreneemac.com
Interview with April Renee Mac
(Jason) Our guests today received a vision from God and a goat farmer confirmed it. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome from San Diego, California, April Mac. Thanks for being here.
(April) I am really super excited to be here. To be honest with you, when you told me that this is fairly new and I heard your story about why you wanted to do this, I thought, yeah, I have to be a part of this. You know, when God has his hands in it, it goes places. And so I know this is going to go somewhere, so I'm super stoked for you guys.
(Jason) Thank you so much.
(Nathan) Well, so what's this I hear about a goat farmer.
(April) Yeah. It's actually a pretty neat story. It's not my story necessarily. It's a friend of mine, but I'm happy to share that if you guys would like to hear it.
(Jason) Yeah, take us back. Let's talk about your vision, which will lead into the goat farmer.
(April) Exactly. Okay, so it's kind of surreal, you know, I'm a woman of many ideas. Okay. I'll just say that. And over my lifetime I've always had a lot of ideas and I've probably had some million dollar ideas in there somewhere, but because I'm so busy, I just don't really do a lot with those ideas. So I shake it off. Right. I just shake it off. I move on and I, I do what I know. Real estate and business coaching and all this other stuff. But recently, few months ago I was kind of in a sleep daze laying around and I had a vision of a book, a vision of the book with my picture on there. It was called “breaking the chains” and had very clearly written on the cover was by April Mac. And I thought, Oh, that's pretty cool. But then there was an audible sound. No, I do not have psychosis. I swear. I heard a voice that said this will open the doors. I didn't know what that meant actually at the time. I thought it was pretty neat that I had a book cover. That's cool. I've never been an author. I've never written a book in my life. So to see that, that's pretty neat, but I shook it off. Okay. And I didn't know what it was. I just thought. Okay. It's just another idea until the next day, the very next day. Mind you, I didn't mention this to anybody because this was just kind of a dream, I guess. And I just went on with my life and shook it off and no big deal. And here's the great, goat story. I'm looking at Facebook and a friend of mine who is in another state. She's also a real estate. She actually listened to God. Who gave her a purpose of owning a goat farm , she's in real estate and never, ever even had a farm, never nothing. And so she talks to her husband and says, you know, God says that I need to get a goat farm, very random. So as she's doing this video on Facebook in reference to her goats, she was telling this story about how she didn't really know all the goat's names. So she basically purchased an actual goat farm, very many goats. And around their necks was a color chain and it had their names on it cause they had belonged to another owner, and so they were identified and she just needed to learn their names. And this is a great way to do that. But one morning she woke up the morning that I'm referencing that I saw this video. She woke up and decided she needed to do a Facebook live video. And in the Facebook live, she's holding these chains in her hand. And she's saying to the audience, I don't know who needs to hear this, but if God is telling you to break those chains, you need to listen. You need to give whatever is going on in your life to God, break those chains, you know, and of course she probably said it, you know, don't quote me on exactly what she said, but it was to that extent and it stopped me in my tracks. And I was like, Whoa, okay. First of all, breaking the chains. I haven't really heard that expression a whole heck of a lot. I mean, I've heard it before, but not with this context. So then I sat back and I said, all right, God, I’m hearing you nice and big and loud what going on. And I just sat on it and prayed about it. And every single day, if I was not in motion towards this idea of, you know, trying to figure out what it was that I was given this, you know, why I was given this, God was putting messages in front of me. This is your purpose. Write a book, free book ads. Okay. And I know the ad world is pretty amazing and they can follow you, but I don't really think that they know your thoughts. So for me to have advertisements on how to write a book was kind of crazy. Now I could be wrong, Facebook and in all these social media, pretty good at like connecting with your thoughts and putting ads in front of you for things. Nonetheless, it was pretty profound and I could not shake it. And so it's gotten me here and where here is an actual clarity of what my purpose is. And that purpose is to help people who have lived in traumatic situations from their childhood, from their presence, whatever that might look like. And teach them and show them how they can have a quote unquote, normal life and reprogram you and your life to live abundantly and the life that you actually want. Most of us don't realize the potential and power that we actually have. And then when you add trauma into our lives, it just creates this destructive chaos in your mind. A lot of people can live a normal functional life with trauma, but there are certain limitations to that. If you don't know how to really reprogram your mind or tackle it or even understand it, it can be all engrossing, you know, it can actually stop you from living your full potential. And so I did this with my own life, just kind of being consciously aware. And God has given me resources throughout my entire life to become who I am. I'm very successful now. And I have broken my own chains of my past. And now it's like, God's like, look, I've been preparing you for this. I don't care that you're not a psychologist, which was an argument I had with him. I don't care that you've never written a book, another argument, you know, he's like, you're going to do it, that's it. You're going to do it. This is why you were here. This is why you had to go through all the things that you went through. And so, yeah, this is your purpose, not becoming a real estate mogul and being on the Forbes cover, you know, none of that was in his plan, at least not in that direction, right. And so it was pretty profound and it still is. I still sit here and I'm like…
(Rick) So just to clarify in question, this book is actually not about goats then at all? (Laughter)
(April) Maybe a Reference in there. Super cute. And I love the ones that faint. (Laughter)
(Jason) I’ve seen that! (laughter)
(April) it's just another confirmation of God's power and how he uses people, things, scenarios, even our social media platforms to get a message across for the very hard-headed stubborn people like myself, who just kind of say, all right, but…
(Nathan) You’ve been through several instances of trauma yourself, and I'd love to hear a little bit about your background and how you came to Christ.
(April) Sure, That's great story. I love my stories. So I actually found Jesus at eight years old. I remember accepting him into my heart at eight and. I don't know how much you remember, but I just remember white walls, and this big man talking to me about the love of Christ. And I unfortunately did not have a Christ centered home growing up, not until I was in my teenage years when I moved out of my mother's house. But From early on. He was always with me. Christ was always with me because my household was very violent. Unfortunately both of my parents were drug users. And as they got away from the harder drugs, I guess the street drugs, as you would call them, they, turned to more legal staff, right? So they did the over-the-counter drugs and an alcohol abuse. My mom married my stepdad when I was seven, and that was the real big introduction to a lot of abuse, both my brother. And I just dealt with a lot of physical sexual, mental abuse. And my mom was kind of distant and because she was under, drugs. I mean, that was her coping mechanism. She went to work to escape. And when she came home and she was doing a lot of over-the-counter drugs and I was without a mom and for my whole life, really. And I had to take care of the home and my brothers and make sure that they were good to go. It was pretty much an adult by the time I was five. I remember making him, my little brother who was two at the time, making him sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I just remember being on a step stool and just spreading the peanut butter and the bread was coming off with it.
So I had to deal with that, but when I, I found Christ at eight, I knew that there was something more. And even though I didn't have family, that would talk to me about Christ and we were very sheltered. We weren't really allowed out, I guess, so I didn't have any, external influences, I guess if you want to put it that way. And so I just had to rely on my own resources and when I was invited to church at eight and I accepted Christ into my heart, that was it. I finally had my armor, you know, to get through the next years. And even though I still made a lot of mistakes I was able to survive. I was homeless at 16 with my dad who took me away, you know, I just had to deal with a lot of different things and it's okay because I'm tough. Christ's had that arm around me, like I said, and he got me through it and clearly it was for a purpose, right. So that's kind of a little bit about my backstory.
(Jason) Thanks for sharing how you pulled out of that.
(April) It's a lot easier to share those stories when you know, it has a purpose when there's an end, right? It's like, Hey, I get it. I had to go through this and. You know, we all know that Christ only gives you what you can handle. And I'm pretty blessed to have a good head on my shoulders. I really am. I don't know how I got through half the stuff that I went through, but I did. And I know it was because of that. I know it was Christ giving me the strength to get through this and all the things really, and to be here now. you're exactly right. And I got to tell you sometimes I just wish Christ didn't trust me as much as he does with some of the stuff he puts me through. But I'll put that out there.
(Rick) I can relate to your background a little bit similar, similar background in mind in my background just not really drugs, but certainly alcohol parents who didn't go to church finding Christ early because of a bus driver. My bus driver was looking to, he had just got out of seminary and he was looking for a place to pastor. And while he was looking, he drove the bus and that's how I found him. And it's funny, my mom gets remarried. My stepdad is just not a nice man. And we took a lot of physical abuse and verbal abuse and whatnot. But he happened to attend the church where my bus driver was brought on. And so he is the one who led me to the Lord, which is really cool. So, you know, I kind of related to that, but so like, tell me, I'm curious now, is this book written? Is it in the works? Is it coming up?
(April) I mean, yeah, it's just an idea; God's working on it. No, it's actually in the works. Currently, so, I'll just kind of let you know the book itself. Isn't the I don't know, we'd call it the cornerstone of this movement. The book is going to be used as a tool to make awareness for the non-profit that's also in the works and the nonprofit of course is going to have this immersion program. That's. Super rad. And yes, I said rad, don't date me.
(Rick)I like it.
(Jason) I’m like totally down with rad.
(Rick) That's pretty rad statement.
(Jason) Absolutely. Think it's a rad statement also.
(Rick) So you have, the immersion program.
(April) It's really the reason why the book is being created. I think the book is being created to be a tool, to get the message out, that there are survival stories out there. And I'm currently gathering up stories from other people. At first, I thought this was supposed to be just my story being written, but it's not actually, my story will be in the book, but it's an anthology of other stories. And the stories are of those people that had the same challenges to overcome. Right. And they had to overcome the trauma and they had to deal with it and survive and make something of themselves. And there are a lot of people out there with this story and those people need to be heard as well. And so this is being given as a platform for other people to share their story. And I have had. So many amazing responses to this people are… when I put an ad out there, together with these stories, I'm getting comments. Like, “I didn't know how to get my story out and you are giving me a platform. I really want to just share my story. I don't need to have even my name on it, but it has to get out,” you know, it's, there's so many people that want to share. They just didn't have a way to do that. And. I didn't realize the impact this book would even have. As a matter of fact, when I put the ad out there, I didn't think anybody was even going to want to share anything. I'm like, Hmm. Okay. We'll see. But it's been overwhelming the responses. And so it's good for a lot of people who are healing, but the focus is to really show others that if one person can do it, you can too. So this is definitely an outlet for people and also a tool to just bring people to the awareness that; just because you've been through a traumatic situation. Doesn't mean that your life is over or does it mean that you have to stay in that state, whatever that looks like. And so, you know, that's ultimately the story behind the book, but really the movement is all about the lives that I'm really excited to help change through our nonprofit and the program. That's really where all the nitty-gritty is gonna, you know, getting down to the bottom of it and just focusing on your traumas and being able to reprogram you in such a way that you can absolutely change your life.
(Nathan) Do you have a release date yet?
(Nathan) Okay. It's still in the works. I understand.
(April) I don’t, I'm actually… I don't know if I'm allowed to say this out loud, but I'm going to anyways, I'm working with Jack Canfield, the author of chicken soup for the soul. Yes. I'm working with his team. And I'm so stoked about it. So we're on the fast track to getting things taken care of, but they, of course, will they guide me? Cause I'm again, who am I? Right. I'm a mom. I'm a realtor. I have a story. Listen, if you want, you want to care if you don’t…
(Nathan) You’re a Daughter of Christ, that's when you are.
(April) This other purposes. Not my doing, not my say, I guess I should say, and I have to do a lot. And so I just know that I'm being aligned with the right people and they're going to get me situated. The goal is to have the book at least out by the end of the year. So that is the goal. I'm praying that it'll actually happen, but Trying to keep my excitement levels to rationale, like, and just be real here. So that's, what I'm working on. I am still actually looking for people to help with the immersion program is gonna take a lot of amazing people with amazing backgrounds to really formulate that. And so I'm hoping that that program, which is going to be super in depth, almost like a rehab. And so it's going to require some expertise in some different areas. I'm hoping that'll be done by the middle of next year.
(Rick) Sounds like a team project there.
(April) Oh yeah. It's, definitely going to need a team. So the immersion program is super, super in depth, which is really scary because I was like, Hey, Hey God. I mean, let me just talk to you for a second here. Remember when I said I don't know what I'm doing. Okay. Well, the more you keep bringing stuff to me, the more my plates being, you know, and I don't know what to do. And he just says, just trust in me. I will provide you the people that you need to make this happen.
(Rick) You know, just to encourage you. I think when you know, when God asks Noah to build that big old boat, And nobody even knew what a boat was in his area or a ship I should say. And it was desert, no rain. And, you know, I'm sure he was gone. You know, I've never really been in the ship. Building industry might need some other folks there. You know, God will help you through it. I do want to go on record of saying she not only said rad, but stoked. And I just want to say I liked that as well, so…
(Jason) I do too, I use stoked quite a bit actually.
(Rick) Do you have, like, I mean, is there like a, just in a 30 second high level, is there kind of, can you kind of describe this immersion process or what it might entail? I'm curious. I'm genuinely curious.
(April) Yeah. So what I have right now, and of course it's always evolving. So what I have right now is, so far, it's a month long process. So when you are accepted into the program, because you have to actually go through an application process, not everybody is going to be accepted. You have to really want to do some hard work cause it's going to take some work. Right. But It's going to take about a month for you to commit and your children are welcome. If you are a single parents, if you have to get out of the situation, whatever. So it's family oriented. You will have a place to stay in our facilities and essentially it's going to be a mixture of everything that you need to have a balanced life. So the person, I don't know what would call them patient or member or whatever they are. They're really cool people that are about to change their lives. When they come on board, they are given kind of a regiment and they have to understand what makes a balanced life. They have to be introduced to financial literacy career enhancement, wellness, wellbeing, of course therapy is going to be a huge one. They're clearly going to be in a traumatic situation. They need to learn how to cope. They need to understand that, you know, what is actually happening on a chemical level and their brains and how do we fix that? So there's going to be a lot of one-on-one and group sessions with that, a lot of just exploring different things. So life isn't always just about getting up and going to work and taking the kids to school. And that's it. No, there's so much more to enjoy in life. And a lot of people, when they feel stuck, they don't know how to explore different “hobbies” or just go and do something different. And so this program will also introduce them to different things, different hobbies, kind of like going back to school when you're in high school and you're checking off your electives and you get the cool stuff. You know, some people choose drama, some want to learn a new language. Some want to go to woodworking. It's similar to that where essentially you're introduced to all areas of your life that make a balance, including spiritual and you're able to just kind of go through all the healing that is involved. So a lot of people will be introduced to new things that they never knew, but the goal is to really just educate them and heal them to a point where. They don't need anyone else to make decisions for themselves. They know who they are, and they have a set set of skills now to cope with whatever they're going to face, going back into the world and being introduced into the world. So that's kind of the… hope I didn't lose you there, but it's kind of the general idea of what it's turning out to be .
(Rick) Just FYI, I’m not only a pastor, but I do have a background in clinical counseling. So I have worked in the, you know, in the field of psychology. In fact when I'm not a pastor right now, I work at an autism center. Working with children with autism. So I totally, you know, I'm certainly not an expert in that field, but I understand it. And I understand what you're saying. I am kind of curious, as you did mention that there was a spiritual component to that. So what is that look like? You know, for somebody who might come through the program how, you know, how might they be brought in, you know, how might the spiritual component be brought in? I'm curious about that.
(April) Yeah. So I'm kind of seeing a vision of on the orientation it's explained to them what exactly it means to have a balanced life. Okay. And that is all those things that we talked about, your physical fitness, right? Your physical being, your spiritual being that is emotional, your mental health. So all of that. And then of course, The financial and the healing and things like that. So they know going in that there's going to be a lot that they're going to be introduced to them. And so every week we have various whether that's just kind of meditation nights, prayer nights, and then of course, church. So we have opportunities for people to be exposed to that. And it's not going to be a forced situation. There will be options for them, but it is going to be absolutely something that we teach as part of a balanced life. It's very important. For every person, whatever your belief system is, it's very important to have that connection with God, and God is going to take care of you and you need to lean on him because he is the creator of all the world. He is our safety net. He is our foundation. And so. Being exposed to that might be the first time for anyone just like, I never could leave my house. Right I think it was my babysitter that took me to church, you know, one night at eight years old, my family didn't know, some people don't get that chance. They don't know, even in a technological world where you have access to information, some of it's not necessarily the right information. Right. So people just need guidance and exposure to the right things. And that's what I'm hoping we can offer, right?
(Rick) Yeah, I think I mean, you and I both know, I think from our backgrounds that you know, God is, you know, he is the healer, he's the great healer and not just physical bodies, you know, we pray for physical healing a lot, but you know, there's a lot to be said for the fact that spiritual, emotional healing is almost a greater need in our society today. So yeah, I mean getting them, if we certainly can't make anyone cross the line of salvation, But pointing them to Christ, you know, can certainly take them where they need to go. I mean, you know, without Christ, we are just, you know, incomplete.
(Jason) Yeah. We were talking earlier. I mean, I was talking about my past a little bit and I didn't have a traumatic experience growing up. I had an almost perfect life. I mean, great family, great parents, great sisters, great friends, but I still battled with depression and I had no reason to, but bringing God in my life is what helped me through that. It was just a missing piece that was in me that I didn't know I was missing until I found it. And I think there's a lot of people, even people that didn't grow up in a traumatic household or life that will benefit greatly from finding the Lord, for sure.
(April) Absolutely. If everybody knew the Lord, what kind of world would we live in?
(Jason) It would be Heaven on earth.
(Rick) Well, it sounds like God is going to use you to do some pretty big things. Is your is your program, I know your book will be obviously sold everywhere I assume, but is this immersion program, is that something that will be local to California or eventually will branch out to other places?
(April) Well, it's really up to God, what he wants to happen. I… see, I have doubt when I say if this works, but I think that's just my human rationale about it, but I know God has his hands in it, so I know it will work. It's gonna just come full force. I just know it will. And so with that being said, Probably will be everywhere. It probably will be on a big scale. You know? One thing I will say, is one of the things that I've decided recently, so before I was thinking, I would just have the immersion program within my nonprofit and it being strictly for people who are getting out of their situation, you know, something almost like a rescue mission. But actually I was wrong. I was very clearly told, in other ways that I can't limit it to people that are in current situation, I have to open it up to all people. And so this will be outside of my nonprofit as a standalone a program, but it will have the ability to focus on all people, including children and teenagers, which is something that was recently given to me. And I haven't really tackled what that looks like yet, but So, this is really big. This is. Really big. It's very scary. I will tell you a following God’s, uh God's purpose for you is pretty scary.
(Rick) Well, I want to encourage you, do not fear. And you know, don't think you're going to out dream GOD, because the Bible says that, you know, God is able to do infinitely more than we could ever imagine, or even pray for. So realize that God's vision is always way bigger than we think he can even do through us. But if you will let him stretch your mind. He can do it and will do it.
(April) Oh, I know. I told you I tried to shake it. I did. I was like, eh, I don't know what he's talking about. This isn't real. This is just, you know, whatever.
(Rick) I think Moses tried that once or twice and it didn't work out for him, so…
(April) Yeah. It's like, come on. So I appreciate that very much. And while I joke about it and I do feel like it is a big, scary project because it really is because I'm only human. Right. And I only have my limited mindset around what I feel like is my capabilities, but that's the glory of all of this is that it's not up to us. We only know our own. Limitations truly, but God knows our potential. He knows what he created us for. So he knows our strengths. He already knows our minds and our hearts and everything about us. So he assigns us these tasks, knowing full well, the challenges that we're going to face and what we're going to do with them and how we're going to be used.
(Rick) Well, I think we should want to get in over our head. Right? I mean, I tell people all the time, I want God to do something so big through me that when people look at me, they're going to say, well, I know that wasn't you. So it must've been God, you know? I mean, if we want to bring glory to God, we want him to do something big. So yeah.
(Nathan)And that is the pattern of, of how he going back to Noah, right. That was much bigger program or plan the Noah could've ever come up with on his own. It had to be something from God. And it sounds like you're definitely swimming upstream with that. So good luck to you. This sounds exciting.
(Jason) Yeah. And God's putting all the right people in your path, to help you.
(April) He is, and people like you also, I mean, being able to share this, I know it's not a finished product and I know it's just God's message, to me and my homework, I guess you can say. But being able to get on platforms such as this, and really just be able to share the one true message, which is, listen, be still and listen, and then follow, you know, if you follow what God is putting in front of you, not only will you thrive, you will change lives and whatever that looks like your life is your own. Your purpose is different from mine and that's perfect, you know, but. You just have to listen. And this is the one time in my life where I am scared and, but also really excited knowing that it does not in my control and as a type a person. That's also scary when you're like, Oh, I don't have control over this. Oh, okay. Hyperventilation. I got you. Okay. You got this. Okay, cool. I'm really glad that you got this God, because, you know.
(Rick) In our weakness, he is strong, right.
(April) Just tell me what to do. Okay. I got it.
(Jason) He always uses the most, I mean, Unlikely people for the most unlikely jobs for that person, you know?
(April) Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I thank you guys so much for this opportunity and I'm really, like I said, in the very beginning, I'm so stoked for you guys that this is going to be a beautiful podcast. That's going to spread the message and the word to so many people and I love how light and airy it is. And I think it's going to be amazing.
(Jason) Thank you so much.
(Rick) Light and airy. I'm going to remember that one.
(Jason) (to Rick) Kinda like your hair, light and airy.
(Nathan) So let me ask you this, if people want to kind of follow you on this journey, is there a website or a way for them to connect with you and in such a way to be able to see this through it's through fruition?
(April) Well, I am currently working on my website right now as we speak. So anyone can just save the website it, which is www.aprilreneemac.com. And so this is going to be the kind of, hub for all the things that I'm doing including the nonprofit and of course, you know, going through the motions of sharing the process with people. So there will be opportunities for anyone to connect. You can connect with me also on Instagram @aprilreneemac. So feel free to reach out there. And I can give you my email address and everything like that. If you want to just share it on the podcast, if anyone wants to reach out they can do that there as well.