Holy Spirit Nudges (Edward Mahoney – 5/13/22 – NCS New Canaan)
Edward Mahoney humbly shares the amazing story of how God transformed him from being “Wall Street Centered” to “Jesus Centered” and how he came to understand and boldly respond to “nudges” from the Holy Spirit.
Mahoney transparently tells the story of spending two years in a hospital as a child during which he received last rites twice. He also explains how that experience began to unlock his gift of relating to people.
Ed talks about his successful Wall Street career and then vulnerably reveals the personal toll of falling from the top. He explains the two events that began the transformation from “Wall Street Centered” to “Jesus Centered”, one of which was showing up for the first time at the New Canaan Society. Ed also shares the importance of his NCS Energy Group that has been “showing up” for each other for over 10 years.
In his words, our gifts and talents are gifts from God to be used to bless others for God’s glory. “Nudges” are when we sense we are meant to do something for someone else–those sometimes uncomfortable opportunities to love our neighbor.
Sharing a few anecdotes from his book Tales from the Bright Side: The Holy Spirit Adventures of Edward Peter Mahoney, Ed tells the incredible story of how he came to write a book about his “Holy Spirit” experiences following “nudges” and emphasizes that his book was written as an encouragement and a challenge to all of us to boldly step out when the Holy Spirit nudges.
Finally, Ed shows a “nudge” in action. He explains that as he was walking through the door and greeted one of the staff in the restaurant, he sensed that he was meant to give all the proceeds from book sales that morning to the restaurant staff serving the group. And he does.
Navigating the Narrow Gate (Tom Cole – 4/29/22 – NCS New Canaan)
With amazing wisdom and humility gained on life’s journey, Tom Cole shares the ups and downs that have allowed God to shape him, as well as the role the New Canaan Society and the friendships he has found in NCS brudders have played in his story. He reveals with tremendous vulnerability how his greatest personal growth came through the hardest moments of life.
From a painful and public divorce to two heart attacks, Tom talks about the importance of his faith in Jesus to his ability to weather difficult storms. He explains how the first heart attack ultimately led to his book “The Narrow Gate: Fatherly Advice for Navigating the Pathway to Your Best Life“. Lying on a hospital gurney not knowing if he was going home to Jesus, Tom shares that the “dominant” thought was he had not poured enough wisdom into his kids.
Tom takes us through a few of the chapters, starting with what he has learned about the source of real joy and happiness–deep relationship with God and others. He explains why money and achievement do not bring happiness.
He also explains the importance of sharing our stories–not only so that others can walk with us through them, but so that we can make a connection with those who need us to walk with them through their stories.
He ties it all back to the core of NCS–growing deeper in friendship with Jesus and friendship with others by “showing up”–“showing up” not for what you can get but because you might be able to impact the life of another man. Tom transparently tells stories of how he has “shown up” for others and how others have “shown up” and walked with him through life’s valleys.
Newly retired from a long and successful career in investment banking, Tom describes navigating the transition to a new season of life. He also explains the importance of being present to the moment, living one day at a time, even as we reflect on the past and plan for the future.
This is God-inspired wisdom for leading a life walking in the Way of Jesus–wisdom from a father to his children, from a brother to his brothers, and from a friend to his friends.
If any man truly wants to be an NCS brudder, he needs to listen to this God-inspired wisdom on what we mean by “showing up”.
Early in his talk, Tom refers to “a message from our sponsor”. He showed a video produced by Chick-fil-A as an employee training tool. You can watch it below.
Listen, Leap and Let God Be God (Kevin O’Bryan – 4/1/22 – NCS New Canaan)
With NCS humor, humility and honesty, Kevin O’Bryan shares the incredible journey that led him to walk away from a successful career in architecture and project management in order to partner with his wife, Maria, in a new film and TV venture they call First Fruits Entertainment. He reveals how he has learned (through trial and error) to listen to God, take leaps of faith and then let God be God.
O’Bryan humbly shares a circuitous journey that revealed to him the truth and power of Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Kevin describes how the idea for their first film, Blue Jacket, came to him before he went to college when he was acting on the TV show “Buffy and the Vampire Slayer”. O’Bryan then shares how his life took many twists and turns before that idea resurfaced years later.
He explains how his life began to change in dramatic ways when he heard the voice of God and decided to follow it. Most dramatically, in college God gave him the plan and promise that would follow him to this day: If he took a leap of faith and moved to NYC and started a career in the arts (abandoning his planned career as an architect), God would take him on an incredible journey, he would meet his wife, and his family would join him in his new-found faith.
With tremendous transparency, Kevin shares how every element of that plan and promise from God has unfolded. He talks about how he took a leap of faith and moved to NYC to pursue the arts, and he met Maria. He vulnerably recounts how worldly financial concerns and the feeling that he had to be the “provider” for his family led him to put that plan and promise aside for 18 years pursuing financial security through a successful architecture and project management career. He also reveals how, when the stress from that path became too much and he hit a wall, God lovingly showed him his disobedience, reminded him of the plan and promise, and then showed him what was possible if he listened for God’s voice, took a leap of faith and let God be God.
Kevin admits that when he shared with Maria that he wanted to quit his secure job and pursue First Fruits Entertainment with her, she replied “Finally.”
During Kevin’s talk, he showed a “sizzle” teaser for Blue Jacket. Although the audio of that teaser has been edited out of his talk, you can watch it below.
For more information on Blue Jacket (including how you can participate), visit the Blue Jacket website HERE
Finding Rest for Your Soul (Andrew Palau – 3/18/22 – NCS New Canaan)
Like a conversation between old friends, Andrew Palau shares his faith journey with remarkable honesty and humility. In fact, it is a conversation between old friends–the Palau family and the New Canaan Society have had a special relationship for over 20 years.
Andrew shares exciting news about the Palau CityFest coming to Southwest Connecticut in 2022 (www.cityfest.org).
He tells about his “wayward” days (as described in his book “The Secret Life of a Fool”) and how his parents never gave up on him. Andrew describes his father’s heartfelt letters and talks and the prayers that came from around the world.
He describes the tortured, sleepless nights wrestling with shame and the direction of his life. He also shares about the trip to Kingston, Jamaica that changed everything–the trip when he met Jesus and Wendy, who became his wife.
Andrew also talks about his father and his legacy and what it has been like to be called to continue that legacy. Those who knew Luis will recognize his uniquely disarming honesty and humility in Andrew.
Finally, Andrew offers a way for us to “find rest for our souls” as he finally did in Jamaica.
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