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.
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.
The drug and opioid crisis is ravaging America’s youth. With amazing courage and vulnerability, a panel of NCS brudders share how drug addiction has personally hit them and their family. More importantly, they describe how their faith in Jesus and the prayers and support of friends, particularly NCS brudders, were powerful allies in each of their spiritual battles against darkness and evil.
In the face of societal stigma around addiction, the panelists emphasized the importance, particularly for parents, of admitting the addiction problem and seeking help. They also strongly encouraged family members of addicts to seek their own support.
Doran Wright (NCS New Canaan) shares about the battle he and his wife fought alongside their son Josh, who tragically died of a Fentanyl overdose in 2020. A photo montage of Josh can be seen below.
James Lillis (NCS New Haven) shares about his own uncontrollable addiction and how he was completely and miraculously freed at Teen Challenge after turning his life over to Jesus.
Armen Abrahamian (NCS New Haven) shares with amazing transparency and specificity the long journey he and his wife have been on with their daughter, who thankfully has now been sober for the last few years.
Before the panel share their stories, retired NYS Trooper Greg Porteus (NCS New Canaan) describes a program he is launching to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and equip parents and children to be prepared in advance with “a way out”. He invites all NCS brudders to “Join the Patrol”.
Following the panelists, Rev. Richard Williams (NCS New Canaan), Executive Director of Pivot Ministries (www.pivotministries.org), shares a bit of his own story of addiction and explains the Pivot recovery program available in Bridgeport, CT.
With remarkable transparency and humility and unbelievable gratitude and faith, NCS brudder P. D. shares the extraordinary “storms” that have descended on his journey and the more extraordinary ways in which he has persevered and even given thanks, maintaining his ever-present smile.
He talks openly about losing his father in a tragic accident, losing a child to cancer, charitably taking in three children from one of the poorest countries in Europe, losing all his savings in a bad investment and having to sell his home, losing his marriage (and practically all his material possessions) in a divorce, going through several career transitions that required “starting over”, and battling and beating cancer twice.
Although even a few of his “storms” could lead some people to abandon hope and their faith in God, he explains how he has weathered them and not allowed them to define his life, shake his faith or rob his hope.
- Faith, family and friends have been his rocks. He talks about the three sons he adores, his first NCS retreat and the impact of having NCS brothers who just “show up”.
- He shares that no matter how bad things got, he reminded himself that there are people who have it worse and gave thanks for all he had been given.
- He explains how he stopped asking “Why?” and focused on how he could use his remaining days, however many there are, to live fully–serving others to the glory of God.
His story is not a story of “storms”–it is a story of the power of faith, family, friendship and gratitude to bring resilience, hope and purpose.
The Bible says God does not allow us to face storms without adequately equipping us. His inspiring resilience and courageous testimony may be part of his calling–helping prepare us for storms we are in or those just down the road. God made him to be a resilient warrior–for the benefit of others who take the time to listen.