Join us today for the Interview with Rob Ekno, author of Is it God or Coincidence?...

This is the interview I had with speaker, host, and author Rob Ekno.  

In today’s episode I interview Rob Ekno.  I ask Rob to talk with you about his book Is it God or Coincidence.  I also ask Rob to share with you how he went from homeless to where he is today and how his faith journey was part of that.  Rob also shares how you can see God acting in your own life. 

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1288: Interview with Rob Ekno About His Book Is it God or Coincidence?

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1,288 of the Inspired Stewardship

[00:00:05] Rob Ekno: Podcast. Hi, I'm Rob Ecno and I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to find where God acts in your life is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott.

[00:00:37] Finally you'll make a

[00:00:38] change.

[00:00:39] So when the fear of the unknown becomes more than the fear of what you actually know, then you'll take that jump, right? Because if I stay stuck where I'm at and I then I know I'm in pain and misery, I know I'm not achieving my purpose. I know there must be more.

[00:00:57] And I'm just living a life where I'm just so [00:01:00] frustrated because I'm

[00:01:01] Scott Maderer: like, welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling.

[00:01:17] In the Inspired Stewardship podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:32] In today's episode, I interview Rob Ecno. I ask Rob to talk with you about his book, is It God or Coincidence? I also ask Rob to share with you how he went from homeless to where he is today and how his faith journey was a part of that. Rob also shares how you can see God acting in your own life. One reason I like to bring you great interviews like the one you're gonna hear today is because of the power in learning [00:02:00] from.

[00:02:01] Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read, and that's why today's podcast is brought to you by Audible. Go to inspired to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial.

[00:02:21] There's over 180,000 titles to choose from, and instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. Rob Eno's, award-winning broadcasting career came to a crashing.

[00:02:46] After the effects of drugs and alcohol, he became homeless and hopeless. Fortunately, Rob was able to fight off his demons long enough to begin his journey to sobriety. On November 29th, 1992, not long after [00:03:00] Rob moved from the East coast to Los Angeles there, his career was reignited when he became a national TV host, a career that lasted nearly 15 years.

[00:03:10] Rob's attempt to rekindle his dwindling relationship with. Took an abrupt turn backwards after a brief, yet scary encounter. An incident that led Rob to walk away from God for nearly a decade. However, following a miraculous meeting with his future wife, Rob began to experience a continual scream of coincidental circumstances.

[00:03:31] Which ultimately led him to acknowledge that a master architect surely was at work in all of these improbable synchronicities again, refocused on God. Rob produced and hosted the spiritually based internet radio show in your face. Heard weekdays for more than three years in nearly a hundred countries.

[00:03:50] Rob also wrote his first book, God Bless America, before It's Too Late. After his marriage ended, Rob headed to Alaska to begin the next chapter in his [00:04:00] life. He spent much of the next five years there and had incredible experiences while exploring ice caves, mushing with sled dogs flying in helicopters and float planes, zip lining, and whale watching.

[00:04:12] Rob quickly gained vast knowledge of Alaska's ecosystem in 2017. He put that wisdom to use as the cruise host on a private ship traveling throughout Southeast Alaska as well as the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon. Rob created presentations giving guests in insider's look. At the area's wildlife.

[00:04:34] In places of interest, in October of 2018, Rob survived a devastating fall into an unsecured open hatch on the cruise ship. His left leg was severely injured, receiving no medical help. Rob spent two hours lying with a towel and a belt wrapped around his leg. The impact from the fall also induced several other injuries, including Rob's arm, shoulders, and.

[00:04:57] As of this interview, nearly four years later [00:05:00] after multiple surgeries. Welcome to the show, Rob. Safety Specialist Physical therapist. Thank you Scott War. Rob continues receive treatment. We talked a little bit about some of you. Welcome to the show, Rob.

[00:05:10] Rob Ekno: Alright, thank you Scott.

[00:05:12] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. So we talked a little bit about some of your journey in the intro, but let's talk a little bit more and unpack what really made you to decide.

[00:05:24] To write a book called, is it God or Coincidence?

[00:05:27] Rob Ekno: If you open up the book and look in the introduction, anybody that has a copy of it or may get a copy, they'll see right off the bat. It was very interesting. I had done a journey and been working on a cruise ship, a private one up in Alaska, and I came back.

[00:05:44] And I was sitting at a restaurant not far from all the big studios in Hollywood area. And a friend of mine was having lunch with me and he said, so Rob, now that the cruise ship season's over, what are you gonna do with the rest of the winter and stuff? And I said, I don't know Johnny. I said but God [00:06:00] has a plan and he'll let me know when I need to know it.

[00:06:02] Literally. Less than five minutes later, we walked out into the parking lot and this was an s u v smacked dab in front of us, like 10 feet away, and the license plate was G O D S. P l n God's plan. And I looked at him and I said Johnny, apparently God does have a plan and he'll let me know and at least the

[00:06:27] Scott Maderer: S SUV V didn't hit you given what happened on the

[00:06:30] Rob Ekno: cruise show.

[00:06:30] That's . Yeah. And that picture is right in the introductions so people can see that how in interesting God is and how direct he is. And then to answer the final part of that question, A couple weeks later, a friend of mine who has a TV show in Bakersfield, California, she invited me up there and she asked me to send pictures of my bears and whales and different stuff that I had in the cruise.

[00:06:57] And I also, she also wanted to send a picture of the book [00:07:00] cover that was in progress. And also, and I decided for some unknown reason, I just decided to send the God's plan license plate cuz I just found it way too interesting. So I send this stuff up to her, I get there and she introduces me to her her producer Spencer.

[00:07:15] And she says, Spencer's only here for the day. So if there's any challenges or whatever, and this is his first time here he is. Only day it in to help us out at the end of the show, this 23 year old college student, she's Tina. Why don't you put up a picture of Rob's book so we can show the audience and they can know where to go to get the book and what to look for.

[00:07:33] For some reason he decided on his own to put a graphic up on the screen. that had a picture of the book cover on one side and a picture of the God's Plan license plate on the other side. And he colored it in like orange and stuff. And it was really cool. And so during the interview, like you and I are having, I'm paying attention to you.

[00:07:53] So I wasn't really paying attention to the picture I just said. Oh, that's a nice thing there, Spencer. That was pretty cool. Then [00:08:00] a week later, I'm at home doing my prayer and meditation, which I do every morning. And I said, God, I really would like to know what your plan is. And all of a sudden it just hit me and I was like, wait a minute.

[00:08:11] God's plan was that graphic that Spencer, this kid who was there for one day, this is how the Lord uses people right to get me. The message that I needed was to do this book. There it was the picture of the book and God's plan, like how more clear could the Lord have made it for?

[00:08:28] Scott Maderer: You have this experience or lots of them that you talk about too, of less than perfect moments for lack of a better word, while you're making all of this journey through, through faith and discovery of all of this.

[00:08:48] And yet here you're talking about in your face and again, takes you a little while to realize it, but there it is in your face. How did your faith journey play out that. Started in [00:09:00] a less than perfect journey and probably still is if you're like most of us . Absolutely.

[00:09:05] I I keep telling people it's John Wesley says on to perfection. He doesn't actually say, you ever arrive it's a journey. It's not a destination. But the how does that less than perfect journey play out in your faith journey that led you to the point of being able to recognize.

[00:09:27] Even if it was slowly, but still recognize that, hey, this is what I need to be doing at that moment.

[00:09:32] Rob Ekno: It takes a while sometimes, but the reality is I have been clean and sober after being homeless many years ago. And currently 30 years sober. And one of the congratulations of my thank you, and one of the parts of that program is our 11 step as we sought through prayer and meditation to approve our conscious contact with God as we understand it.

[00:09:55] So me, everybody that knows me knows that I am [00:10:00] I am that guy that really works that pro that. Portion of the program, the 11 step every day, and many don't, or many will just pray or many will just meditate or whatever, but it's, there's a reason, there's a accommodation is because what I'm asking, God, I'm praying right?

[00:10:14] But then I need to be able to sit still and listen for the answers. And I need to be open to the answers. And I just started seeing loads and loads. It started with license plates and I just started seeing, I, my entire cell phone was just loaded with license plates. Like the other day.

[00:10:32] I walked outta the house and the car right in front of the building next to us, said, praise him. , right? It was like p r a s eight h m. Praise him. It's like they're all over the place. And I had a friend, unfortunately she passed a while back because of cancer, but she used to tell me all the time, she says, Rob, she says, these things are happening all around you.

[00:10:56] And it's interesting that you are little by little. You are starting to see [00:11:00] them. And she says I guarantee you these happen to everybody. Except most people are so focused on themselves rather than what they can do for the Lord and how I can be the best Rob that I can be today. That's what I like to share.

[00:11:14] My job in life, God just asked me since I'm an alcoholic and a recovery. He just says, Rob, please just don't drink today. Trust that I have a plan and just be a nice guy in the world. That's all I need you to do. I'll take care of everything else. All this stuff. . And so that's how the journey it begins what they say with that Chinese bra where the journey of 10,000 miles is one step and that's how faith is, right? You have one thing that happens, you may not believe, you may not see, and then all of a sudden one thing happen and you're like, oh, wait a minute. What's that? Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Another thing just ha And that and that's how when we get into the book, that's of how the book goes, is just to open people's eyes to the fact that, hey, this stuff is happening really [00:12:00] probably to everyone.

[00:12:01] I can't believe that the Lord singled me out for to see this stuff. It has to, and what happens is as people are reading my book, all of a sudden I start getting phone calls or emails or texting. Hey man, I had some of those same experiences and then they start realizing, you know what, just maybe I gotta pay attention to this guy in the sky a little bit more.

[00:12:23] And I hope that answered your question, but it's a matter of just starting to see things little by little, and then all of a sudden, , there's all this evidence there. And I can either just I can still poop who the evidence as they say, right? And say yeah, there's a thousand things at all.

[00:12:39] Point to Scott that he's the guy that's the host of the show it's not really him behind the microphone even or I can say, wow, you know what it really is Scott behind that microphone and and he really is hosting this amazing radio show. Yes. . So the.

[00:12:58] Scott Maderer: One of my friends just actually went through [00:13:00] an experience not too long ago where they had some rough stuff going on in their life and they kept saying I'm, I've got a plan.

[00:13:10] I'm ready for the next step. I know what I need to do. I know what I need to do. And then they kept feeling that moment from God saying, not yet not yet. not. Don't jump, don't go. Don't jump, don't go. And it was around a job situation and changing jobs. That's why it was wait.

[00:13:27] And then suddenly they got this tremendous opportunity. And at that point they were like very nervous about actually executing and taking the opportunity and their comment was, it was like I'm ready. God said, okay, this is it. Go. And they went, are you sure?

[00:13:47] Rob Ekno: you know exactly.

[00:13:48] Scott Maderer: How do we fight against, That feeling of oh no we are ready. It's our plan. It's our time and God telling us to wait. And then when that opportunity [00:14:00] comes, I think we have a natural fear. About taking it? How do we work at that balance?

[00:14:05] Rob Ekno: I think it's if I can use the the motto in the like for instance, the 12 step program, we say once you finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired, , I mean drinking or gambling or drug, Finally you'll make a change.

[00:14:21] So when the fear of the unknown becomes more than the fear of what you actually know, then you'll take that jump, right? Because if I stay stuck where I'm at and I then I know I'm in pain and misery, I know I'm not achieving my purpose. I know there must be more for me, and I'm just living a life where I'm just so frustrated because I'm.

[00:14:44] Okay. All I do is go to work nine to five, I come home, I cut the grass, and I take care of the wife and kids or the husband or whatever it might be. And there we go. That's my life. And then I'm looking on TV and I'm seeing these people all over the place, and they're doing this and they're doing that, and they talk about the Lord.

[00:14:59] [00:15:00] And so it's about it's a it's about. Trust is the key to success and building trust is one little, one little thing at a time. I was I was homeless I went from having a flourishing radio career back in New England. I was doing a national sports show out of Boston.

[00:15:24] I was covering World Series. I was at Super Bowls and Stanley Co. All this next thing I'm home. Because I learned how to drink and and do drugs cocaine and vodka. That was my my two things that led me down and I was homeless. Now here's the interesting thing. I just, I did not know this.

[00:15:42] I'm not Catholic. I'm a very spiritual Christian and my, but my girlfriend is Catholic and so she's taught me different things about that faith as well. And what's interesting, Scott, is I did not know I was even growing up in this. My first meeting that I ever went to of a 12 step was my [00:16:00] brother David, took me there, was at St.

[00:16:01] Vincent DePaul Church. I didn't know this at the time until I told my girlfriend not all that long ago, and she said honey, you know that St. Vincent DePaul is the the saint of the poor. And the, and I said that's interesting because I was homeless when I went to my first meeting.

[00:16:20] And then I said and my home group became St. Mathias Church back in Rhode Island. And she said that's interesting because St. Mathias is the saint of alcoholism. And it's Lord, the God had this whole thing lined up for me long before I ever even had a clue. And I was still in my whacked out mind.

[00:16:39] And it just goes to show. And even when you read this book, especially the last chapter, you'll see that the Lord does have a plan when he talks about it, whatever. I'm not a, I'm not a Bible thumper and I don't know it as well as many from the little stuff that I've been able to keep in my mind he talks about, I know the number of hairs on your head and all of this.

[00:16:58] I know [00:17:00] the good stuff that I have. I have plans for you Jeremiah 29 11. I have plans for you, for hope and a future, and it's up to me if I choose not to believe in God or all of his incredibleness. That's on me. It doesn't mean he's not incredible. It means I'm choosing not to believe that he's incredible.

[00:17:22] That's my choice. And I think your question along the lines of your question how do people get there? And we have choices. He gives us free will and he says, you can believe in me. Or not I love you. Either way. I'm not throwing you out with the bath water. Even if you don't believe in me, even if you don't pray to me, even if you don't honor me, I'm still there because I made you amazingly special and I love you just as much as Scott who does this wonderful podcast and found his calling and he's using his talents cuz every single one of.

[00:17:55] Has been given amazing talents and abilities by the Lord to do [00:18:00] something special and the whole point of this whole life that we leave, I'm sure Scott. Is to be a servant to one another, to inspire and encourage each other to be our best, to be the best neighbor, to love thyself as a and it really is.

[00:18:16] If you just look at it really in a, that's it. That's our journey. People say to me all the time, Rob, you always say nice things to me. I said cuz you're a nice person. You are the only one that doesn't know it yet, in many cases, especially when you're dealing with alcoholics and stuff, who think, oh my God, I'm just a worthless piece of a human being.

[00:18:33] I'm like, no. I say, God used this guy Moses, who killed somebody to walk down from the mountain with these two stones in his hand telling people how to live and look at the transition. You know how Saul went to Paul and all these things. I. God takes all of us, all of our imperfections and use it to glorify and He doesn't necessarily want the credit.

[00:18:54] He just wants you to be all that he made you to be. And that's [00:19:00] what he wants from all of us. And so you're doing what you're doing. I'm writing. And by the way, just to let you know, I almost didn't pass high school cuz I almost didn't pass English. And then 45, 45 years later, my English teacher, Ken Grady, wrote the forward to this book,

[00:19:20] So that was, didn't say,

[00:19:21] Scott Maderer: did it say, I never thought he'd write a book because I haven't started .

[00:19:25] Rob Ekno: No, actually he was he actually I know he won't mind me telling this story cuz we are friends and But he actually told me to stop and he broke down in tears. Cause I was like, Ken, if you don't like the book when I give it to you, you just tell me No we're friends.

[00:19:41] It's a, and he was so honored that a former student. Would call him to ask him, because I guess when you're a teacher, you don't know what you've done for the kids and

[00:19:51] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. I was a teacher for 16 years, .

[00:19:54] Rob Ekno: There you go. So he was honored and it was just a really [00:20:00] powerful moment on the On the phone when when he said yes I would.

[00:20:04] And then he wrote this absolutely wonderful forward for me. And by the way if anybody else out there I'm sure other people have books or podcasts in their head that they haven't started yet, that the Lord is calling them. Cuz I think that's what you asked too, cuz I have a roundabout way of getting the answers.

[00:20:22] That's alright. Keep going. . I get so. Because this is the one subject that I just love talking about. I love talking about inspiring people and encouraging people and the Lord, and just doing good things. And two guys getting together and having a little podcast here and just talking about how we might add some value to somebody's life today.

[00:20:38] Who might hear this? That especially the person who just stumbles across the podcast and even wasn't even looking for it. I'm like, whoa. And that's the coincidence and that's the shot they need. But I asked a guy, In Hollywood. I came up, I had all these ideas that the Lord had given me all these stories and I said, Hey man, you're a really successful writer and I've got all these I ideas for stories.

[00:20:58] I said, you gotta gimme the [00:21:00] shortcut on how to write a book and stuff. He goes, you know how to write a book? I said, no. He says, go down to the 99 cents store over to Universal Studios. You get a pad for a dollar and a pen for a dollar, and you open it and you write one word, and then you write another word, and then you write another word and all of a sudden you got a lot of.

[00:21:16] And he said, you'll read those words eventually and you'll say, boy, that really sucks. And then you'll rewrite it and you'll rewrite it again and you'll go, Hey, that still isn't great, but it's a lot better. And all of a sudden you'll have a book one day when you just keep doing that and you keep tweaking.

[00:21:34] And that's how it, that's how it came about. Yeah. So the point is we just need to start. , right? Your podcast didn't become as good as it is, and as as tweaked as it is and professional and as polished as it is, probably on your first podcast, you start by, no, please don't go back and listen to the first couple minutes, , but you started.

[00:21:59] And you kept [00:22:00] going and you kept learning, and you kept praying and, and you kept getting more wisdom and more experience. And that's what it was like with the, with this book. And and I just would li would pray and encourage people that if you're sitting there now thinking that your life has no value or you can't find your purpose, prayer and meditation really helps.

[00:22:22] And the thing I do, in all honesty, I split my time between Los Angeles and Alaska. . And when I'm in Juno, I go out to the Menden Hall Glacier and just sit out there and hang out with the bears and the little porcupines and the eagles and I just absorb the wonderfulness of God.

[00:22:41] And when I'm in LA I buy a bag of peanuts and I'll walk a park and I'll just sit there feeding the squirrels. And it just cl the whole point is to clear your head of the nonsense of the world. Spend some time alone with the Lord so that. Speak to you so that you can get this stuff [00:23:00] coming into your head and after maybe the first day you, like you said Hey, I heard this, but I'm not acting on it.

[00:23:05] Maybe if you take five or six walks in a row, you might hear the same thing five days in a row and maybe you go. Maybe just, maybe I gotta take that first step and maybe I gotta start my own podcast or write my own book, or start my own church, or whatever it is that the Lord has put on your heart.

[00:23:23] But every one of us has been given an assignment of goodness. The question is, how many of us are gonna honor the Lord and do that? Speaking of that, you've had, if you look backwards, a lot of different roles and responsibilities and different things you've been doing, different assignments, if you wanna use that word.

[00:23:44] Scott Maderer: And yet throughout it, you talk about some threads that are in common. How do you think people should. How can people actually understand their, whether you wanna call it, calling their purpose, their direction and [00:24:00] see how God is acting and showing up in their life versus the roles and the responsibilities and the career and all the other things that kind of cloud the mess.

[00:24:09] Rob Ekno: I will tell you this. I will share this story about this book. Is It God or Coincidence coming to grips with the unexpected wonders in life? In 2018, on October 17th, I was working on a private cruise ship coming back from Alaska on the Columbia River in Oregon. And one of the crew members left in open Hatch right in front of the in front of the crew.

[00:24:36] And I did not know it was there. I step out, I fall into this thing. I shred my leg. I lost a ton of blood. I ended up flying on the bunk with a towel wrapped around my leg trying to keep me from bleeding to death with a belt on it for two hours as the captain drove us to shore. For whatever reason, he didn't call the Coast Guard and chopper me away, but nonetheless, Here it is basically [00:25:00] about four years later now, and in that time.

[00:25:03] So I, I was wondering whether I was even gonna die or live or die. I was going into shock. It was an incredible experience. So the point is, I was outta work for a long time and the insurance companies, they don't want to pay you any money. So they want you to to suffer as much as possible basically, so that you'll just say, Hey, I give today.

[00:25:20] Don't worry about fixing my leg, I'll just live the rest of my life. But anyway, so the point. I was literally living on $7 a day for over two years. Now, how anybody can do that? I don't know. But I said my, I have a spiritual advisor who's 96 now. When I wrote about him in the book, he was 92 and he just remember, Rob, God causes all things to come to good for those who every day.

[00:25:46] It's that's great Tony, but you're not living on $7 a day. How do you. So the point I'm telling you that because you're wondering whether there's a calling and whether God has a. So I have this book, right? And so I wrote it and I got to a point [00:26:00] and I'm not good with commas and periods and all that.

[00:26:02] So out of the blue, I call my friend David and I said, Dave I got this book, but I'm not gonna be able to publish it cuz I, I don't know how to, all the commas and periods on. And David says Just by chance, Rob, I happen to have gotten laid off from one of the big studios in Hollywood last week and I have some free time and I'm a pretty good writer.

[00:26:21] So if you wanna come over. Anyways, David, for the next year and a half, David blessed me one day a week for four hours, no pay. He did it all to serve the Lord and help me, and that's how he designed the cover of the book. He designed the interior of the book. He's the one that loaded it on Amazon. He's the one that did it all four hours a week for a year and a half.

[00:26:43] He helped me, so then I said, David, I said I said, you and I did a nice job of doing this we should really have somebody check our work cuz. And he said, yeah I, we definitely need to have somebody. And I said I just don't have five, $6,000 to pay a editor to edit the book.

[00:26:59] So we'll just [00:27:00] put it on the shelf for now. Literally the next day. I'm outside where I was living over their universal studios at the time. And I'm standing out there and my neighbor, this gal Megan, comes out and she's standing there talking to me and I said, she said, how's it going? I say, yeah, so excited.

[00:27:14] I wrote this book and I gotta put it on the shelf now because I don't have an editor. And she goes why don't you just give it to me? And I said why would I give it to you? And she goes, don't you know why I work outta my house? I said, no. She says, I'm a professional copy editor, . She said I worked at a publishing company for 30 years, and now I do a lot of stuff for major corporations and scientists and doctors, and that's why I work outta my house.

[00:27:36] She says, I can do it after five o'clock at night for you. I gotta earn my paycheck during the day, but I'll be happy to bless you. So she goes through this thing, it takes her about a month or two to go. She goes through it, gives it back to me, and she says, here you go. She goes. She goes, I really enjoyed reading that book.

[00:27:53] She goes, it was really wonderful and fascinating. We're talking and she goes, you know what? I really did enjoy reading that book. Give it back to me. I want to go [00:28:00] through it one more time just to make sure I didn't miss anything, because normally we have. Three or four sets of eyes at a publishing company, see it before it goes out.

[00:28:07] So let me just do it again. She gives it back to me a couple weeks later. There was like a hundred more things that she corrected, which is great. And so now I got a professional copy and it that did it twice. Doesn't cost me a dime. The Lord's blessing me, right? So I call up my friend Lee up in Northern California.

[00:28:21] I say, Lee, I said, you're a life coach. Any chance you could read my book? And if you like it, could you write me one or two lines for the back of my book? Just so I, and if you don't like it, just let me know. You don't have to. I send it up to him three days later, he says, Rob, I got your book, the manuscript.

[00:28:35] He goes, by the way, I don't know if I told you this or not, but my wife and I are professional proofreaders, so while I'm reading your book, I'll be happy to proofread it for you. That'll be my gift to you. And so that's how the book got proofread. So then I said Lord, I really need a an author on the back of the book.

[00:28:52] I don't wanna write about me and Del people. Robs I got I need somebody. So I said, and he said this guy Paul, that you see on Monday night that this place should [00:29:00] go to? And I said yeah, but we're not really like close friends or anything. And he's a Pulitzer nominated author and he's won awards around the world and he's world all this.

[00:29:09] And the Lord says, you ask me who to ask, and then you argue with me when I give you the answer. So this is getting back to some of your stuff that you had been asking earlier. He says, just call Paul. I literally, I was driving to David's on the freeway out here going towards Pasadena area and I pull off the freeway.

[00:29:27] I call up Paul. Paul. Hey, how are you? It's Rob. I know you're. Busy and could you look at my book? And if you like it, could you write one or two lines for me? Oh my God, I'm so honored that you called to ask me. I would love to do that for you. You're, I'm like, seriously? He goes, yes, please send it over.

[00:29:43] It'll take me anyways. A month later, he writes me back. And if you see on the back of the book cover, you'll see eight lines, not two lines that Paul wrote very intricately. And he compared my book to Dan Wakefield's returning and Neil Donald Walsh's conversations with [00:30:00] God, two bestselling books that he compared mine to.

[00:30:03] And I was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. And I'm thinking, but no, this is how the Lord operates. He put a good work in me. And as the Bible says, if he puts a good work in you, he'll give you everything you need to. Come true. And this book is the perfect example. Okay, so now we published the book and everybody says you should do an audio book.

[00:30:23] And I said, oh, I don't have five, $6,000. I'm living on $7 a day. And the Lord says, yeah, but you have a friend Rick, who lives in Hollywood, and he is been a Hollywood studio recording engineer for 30 years. And he is got a studio in his home, call him. And I'm like, Lord, I can't call the guy and ask him for a five, $6,000 favor.

[00:30:41] Just, that's a lot of work. And Scott and editing this stuff and getting all the specs proper and all this, and making it sound good and taking out all the and the ahs and os and the breedings, and the firetrucks in the background and all that other stuff. I call up Rick and again, the Lord says, you asked me.

[00:30:57] I gave you the answer and then you argue with me [00:31:00] again. Why do you always argue? Why are you wasting your time asking me if you're just gonna argue with me and not believe that this is this? Cuz that's the question you ask people. They don't, they get the answers, but they don't want to act on them.

[00:31:11] So I call Rick and I go, Hey ran, how you doing? He goes, Hey, I saw you got your book on Facebook there. I saw that it's up on Amazon. I said yeah. I said, yeah people are telling me I should do an audiobook, dude. Come over the house tomorrow morning, nine o'clock. I got my recording studio right here.

[00:31:27] I'll hit the record button and then it'll take me two or three months to get all the specs and edit it for you and stuff. Cuz I got a project I'm working on at one of the studios, but I'll do that for you. I'll bless you with that. I'm like, are you serious? He goes, dude, for you. Absolutely.

[00:31:40] That's how the audio book got on, on, on the internet. So the point is, And hopefully folks got this. And I think you did you asked how do we know our purpose and how do we act and stuff? And what I, one thing I have to do is if the Lord puts it in my head and in my heart, It's up to me to [00:32:00] trust him and if I don't, and so what's happened is through this book, doing this book, then people started telling me, when I shared stories of it, they said it needs to be a faith-based film.

[00:32:11] One thing led to another, I end up working at this place called The Miracle Theater, doing a short film for a friend who happened to get Covid. I had to fill in for him. He wrote a part for himself in this movie with all the main stars. So now I am with the ma. One thing led to another, and all I can say is a movie script has been written about this book in a faith-based film.

[00:32:35] And we'll see how long it takes to get it up onto the to the big screen. But everything has been falling into place. With this. And I'm like, and people are like, dude, this stuff just seems to happen to you. And I say I work really hard at my relationship with the Lord. And in the back of our 12 step program, there's a, the last page of the 164 pages is a vision for you.

[00:32:58] And it specifically says, [00:33:00] if your relationship with him is right, meaning God, great things. Not might. You could get lucky. Great things will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us. So it's out there for all of us. Scott, you took your calling and you started your inspired stewardship and you got this wonderful podcast going, I someone who didn't think I could.

[00:33:29] Am now writing and this book here was my second, and I have other four others that either are gonna be published soon or in the not too distant future. And here I am going, how can I be the one doing this when I didn't even think I could put a word on the paper? And that's the miracle of the Lord and trusting in him.

[00:33:51] I guarantee you every person listening to this podcast today has some incredible [00:34:00] talent of goodness in them. Whether it be starting their own podcast, writing it, whatever it might be, being a great servant at their church, whatever it could be. Volunteering at an animal rescue, something in this world that we all can make an amazingly positive difference.

[00:34:21] And all I try to do every day, like I said, is just go out into my piece of the world and I just try to be the best rob that I can be today. Awesome.

[00:34:32] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I go there, is there anything else about the books, the hopefully upcoming movie the other things that you're doing that you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:34:47] Rob Ekno: I think I touched on the book pretty well. That was a pretty cool way of how it came together as you can as you can see. And then, like I said, then the movie came together because [00:35:00] the script writer actually was the guy that wrote the short film. And I was telling the script writer, I said, nothing happens in God's world by mistake.

[00:35:08] There's a reason why you got sick somehow the day before you were supposed to have this big part. And out of all the millions of people in the world, You got the thought to call me and then I happened to go down to the set and mention something about my book. And then somebody mentioned a faith-based film they had just worked on and one thing led to another and boom, a movie script is being written about this book.

[00:35:33] And it's just the way, it just, one more time just reminded me that God has a plan. My job is to actually pay attention. Is what we were talking about earlier. How does somebody know how, and all of us are gonna need different levels of evidence, right? Some of us will see one thing and say, oh my God, I got a parking space.

[00:35:54] I hear this all the time. I got a parking space in the front row of this place, so I know I'm gonna get the job because why [00:36:00] else would I have had a front row parking space at this job interview if I'm not gonna get it? Things like that. And then other people will see 50 things, a hundred things.

[00:36:08] They go, yeah, whatever those things happen they happen to everybody. Yeah, they do happen to everybody, but we're supposed to pay attention to 'em so we can find what our real calling and real purpose is in this world. And the fact that if you had, I would've lost every dime under the sun. If you had said Rob, you're gonna be either an actor or a TV host or a tour guide in Alaska or an author, which one of those four are you gonna be that's going to be lead you to the most prominence and honor the Lord?

[00:36:36] and I'd be like either one of the first three, but it definitely is not gonna be an author and here it is in the not too distant future, I'll have six books read. So my brand is inspired stewardship as we you shared earlier. And stewardship is one of those words that we all use or you hear it a lot in different context.

[00:36:54] Scott Maderer: And yet I don't think it's a word that everybody actually means the same thing, when [00:37:00] they say it. So for you, what do you think of when you hear the word stewardship and how has that shown up in your life? I

[00:37:06] Rob Ekno: believe for me we are, as I mentioned earlier, we have two things to do in life. I think it's in Hebrews 23, it talks about we are to inspire and to encourage each other.

[00:37:18] That's our job in life, right? We're to pick each other up, we're to help each other and so on. Being good stewards. If I'm a good steward to the people of the earth, then I'm helping them to be their best. And we're prospering the planet and our countries and this globe that God gave us to by.

[00:37:41] Bringing joy and peace and abundance and happiness into lives. We can all get a real glimpse of what it might be like one day when we when we rise above, right? And not only for the people, but also for animals. All the dogs and the [00:38:00] cats and all of, like I said I go up to Menden Hall, glacier and we are supposed to respect the animals.

[00:38:06] You don't feed the ducks and you don't throw a piece of salmon out there for the bear so you can get a picture of them and things like that. People do this stuff, trust me. And but but so I'm supposed to look to where I could when I see a bunch of trash on the ground, it's like I.

[00:38:22] I'll always have a pair of gloves or something. And with Covid it's a little bit different now, but before that I used to pick up a lot of trash off. I would just go walk by and I would say, gosh, why? How come people just throw their cup from the whatever on the ground, or this and that.

[00:38:36] They'd say if you just picked it up, Rob, you could just walk on and throw it in that trash can. And the earth would be a little bit cleaner today. And just treating people with decency and respect. I was in a was in Arizona in Tucson not long ago and I was in a Fast food places.

[00:38:52] And the young 18 year old girl or so, somewhere in there was, she gave the order to the lady in front of me and the lady looked at and go, [00:39:00] oh my God, you screwed up my order and blah, blah, blah. She looks back at me and she goes, can you believe this person? How could they be so dumb and stupid and blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:39:07] And I just looked at her and I didn't say a word, and I'm like, . Okay. That could be my daughter standing right there. And when I want somebody just trashing her cuz she simply grabbed a burger instead of a fish sandwich. Really? And that's the way you're gonna treat another human being. But that happens hard too often.

[00:39:24] So as stewardships mine is not to participate in that. And I didn't say anything to the woman and she was thinking, I'm gonna say, yeah, what a dummy. And it's no. And that's how I treat people. I do. . I act as if God is standing right on the side of me. And whenever there's a challenging moment and I have to make a decision, or if I'm gonna say something and I say, and I look and I go, and then the Lord will go, yeah, that's probably not your best choice.

[00:39:51] Saying something nasty to something, doing something, whatever. And here's the key. This goes back to something you had asked a bit [00:40:00] earlier. The key is that we live in this world with man, but really it's God's world and so it doesn't make sense to so many of us. Because God doesn't make sense to many of us, and he's not supposed to.

[00:40:15] That's why he's God. He has a plan. Why did Scott get to keep all his hair in Rob's bald? I don't know. God's got a plan. He, obviously, Rob was gonna be troubled because he says I, I know all the hairs on your head. He's geez, I don't need to be counting your hairs, Rob. I got enough problems with you as it is.

[00:40:33] Nevermind, I'm gonna hear that. But that's but that's the challenge of it all is that we all have an assignment and many of us just don't take the assignment on. And so we live a frustrated life because we just won't trust because something will happen and it'll say that makes absolutely no.

[00:40:53] but God's making it very clear that's the picture. Yeah. But it makes no sense. And my friends are telling me that makes no sense and [00:41:00] blah, blah, blah, blah. But then get better friends because nothing that God does really makes a lot of sense. And there's a lot of questions in the world and people ask why did that young child pass?

[00:41:11] Or whatever it is, why would this be happening? People have a lot to do with it too. We have a lot to do with these things, and all we wanna do is point a finger and go, you are a bad guy. It's no, he's a very loving Lord who just wants the absolute best for us. And if I don't take advantage of all in a good way.

[00:41:29] Of the goodness that he gives me, like the opportunity to share his stories. Like the stories I'm sharing with you today are not my stories, they're stories he gave me to share that you and I, through your vessel and through my vessel are putting out to the world to hopefully somebody will have a better life or a better day or a better moment because they heard something on this show today or through my book or so, through other podcasts that you continue to do as well.

[00:41:56] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. [00:42:00] If I invented this magic machine, and with the power of this machine, I was able to take you from the chair where you sit today and transport you into the future, maybe 150 or 200 years, and through the power of this machine, you were able to look back on your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts that you've left behind.

[00:42:22] What impact do you hope you've left behind in the. .

[00:42:24] Rob Ekno: I hope to inspire people to be their best. . And one of the things, I have a lot of examples here. I know we're short on time, but I have these things happen all the time before I ever speak and I do a lot of speaking, like AA meetings and things like that, recovery meetings and stuff.

[00:42:44] I always pray before I open my mouth and I always say, Lord, please give me the stories and the words that you want me to share today cuz you know. Experiences of the people in the room and what pains and sufferings they're going through and stuff, and I don't, but you know what stories I [00:43:00] also have that you've given me that could help them the best.

[00:43:03] And one of the greatest things, Scott, with that, is when I share stuff, after I've asked the Lord what to share. I had a guy come up to me not long ago, and he goes Rob. He goes, Hey you don't know who I am, but I was sitting in the back of a meeting over there in Studio City seven years ago, and you had talked about God and some other things, and I never came up and introduced myself or sh mentioned anything to you.

[00:43:25] But for the last seven years I've been living with the principals that you shared about in that meeting and it's just made such an immense difference in my life and I just wanted to thank you. I'm glad we had this chance to meet today. And I have that stuff. I had a guy the other day that was at a restaurant.

[00:43:41] And I was coming to my chair and this guy sees me now, Scott, if you had given me every single dime on planet Earth, I couldn't have even come close to naming his name. And he comes running over Rob, how you doing man? It's me, Nick, how you doing? I go, you remember me from and of course I didn't want to disappoint the guy, right?

[00:43:59] So I'm [00:44:00] like, Hey Nick, how you doing? Great to see you. And he says, I gotta tell you, eight years ago you shared about the great fact, which is what I talked about a little bit earlier, that if our relationship with God is right. Great things will happen for us. And he goes, it, that really touched me that day that you shared about the great fact.

[00:44:16] And I just wanna let you know at every meeting I've gone to for the last eight years, I have also shared about the great fact, cuz you touched my soul with that so hard. And tomorrow I'm turning 15 years sober and I just wanted to thank you because it was you that helped propel me to continue to go and build my relationship with the Lord.

[00:44:35] And that's what's been the key to my success. Just those little things. Being able to put little tidbits or breadcrumbs, whatever you want to call them out into the world, that somebody might say, Hey I might want to try that. Because it's not about me telling you what to do.

[00:44:51] It's about sharing my experience that you can relate, hopefully. If you were homeless then I, when I go up to Juno, they ask me to [00:45:00] be the mc of the the annual Recovery Fest they have there. And I'm able to connect with these people. I have a reality show that we're in the process of hopefully selling as well about recovery and addiction in Alaska and the challenges and stuff, but we have to be able to relate to people.

[00:45:18] So we find our group of people that we can relate to that can, that we can share our experience that are down and out. And if you don't mind I share one quick story that's in chapter six, his book that kind of answers all of that for you. It's one of the most powerful things that ever happened to me.

[00:45:33] I meet this guy, I call him Ben in the book for privacy reasons, but he grew up in south central la which many would call a very a challenging area. And stuff. And he, I meet him up in, in Juno and I gave him my card. I gave him a hug, says, Hey man, you're new to sobriety. If I can ever be of any helper's, my card, call me.

[00:45:52] Hope to see you around. I don't see the guy for two weeks in the middle of the day, he's walking down the street in [00:46:00] Juno with a couple of friends on him, and he couldn't, he was weaving and bobbing how he was even standing. He was 30 sheets to the wind, if not a thousand. And so I don't. I just run out into the middle of the street at two in the afternoon and I'm like, dude, what are you?

[00:46:18] I said God has such a bigger purpose for you in life than sitting here sticking needles in your own and stuff. And his friends look at me like, oh dude, no, this guy's just gonna pop you in the face in about two seconds if you don't get outta his way. And I've realized that people usually don't argue with God when you when they, cuz they, they're looking for him.

[00:46:38] They just don't know where to find him sometimes. And when you're the one that's willing to get in their face, as you say. So anyway. I talked to this guy and out of the blue, he lifts up his sleeve on his right hand. And earlier, just a little while earlier, he had taken a knife and he had sliced his [00:47:00] wrist three times from his wrist all the way up to his elbow three times trying to kill himself.

[00:47:04] He didn't wanna live anymore. When I saw that, I just really got in his face and I said, dude, God is a big bubba blah. And all of a sudden, He just reaches into his pocket, pulls out this bloody knife and hands it to me, gives me a big giant hug, steps back. He's got tears rolling down his eyes and he is crying and he says thank you, and him and his girlfriend and his two friends walked away.

[00:47:33] And I was like, holy Jeep is crow. And then I called some friends not that long down the road, six months down the road, then a year down the road. And so apparently he was still alive and moving forward. But we never know when God is gonna ask us to. Be there for someone unexpectedly. So I like to say that's why I need to be prayed up and ready to go, and I need to have the goodness of God floating through me, that I don't [00:48:00] have to sit there and think about things that I can just react in a good, positive, godly way.

[00:48:05] But that was the freakiest thing that I've ever had happen, I believe. And I found out later that when people if they cut their wrists across their wrist, they're not really trying to die. They're just trying to cause themself pain. And if they go, but if they do what this guy did, they're really trying to end it all.

[00:48:23] And boy, what inexperience that was. I just I never know where God's gonna put me, but that's hopefully that answers your question about you. What are we here for? And how do we know? He makes it if my eyes are open and so I pray that everyone that's listening to your podcast, that, that hasn't had their eyes open or has just chosen to say, nah, that can't be really, no, he can't really want me to.

[00:48:54] No, he doesn't. He doesn't know who I am and I'm not and I'm not somebody qualified to do [00:49:00] that with the Lord at our side, we can do. I'm sure you didn't grow up thinking I'm gonna do a inspired stewardship podcast. And I definitely didn't grow up thinking I was gonna write books for the Lord, and I guarantee you that many in your audience are sitting there now going, dang it. Somebody's told me I'm really good at this, and somebody's told me I'm really good at that and I just haven't done it. I pray that today is the day that you're gonna make that choice to start doing it.

[00:49:25] Scott Maderer: You can follow Rob on Facebook or Twitter is Rob ec.

[00:49:28] Or find out more about his books his speaking, the upcoming movie, and more on his That's spelled R O B E K N Of course, I'll have links to all of that over in the show notes as well. Rob, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener? I

[00:49:46] Rob Ekno: just pray, Scott, that everyone listening here today will realize what an incredible human being they.

[00:49:55] And that if they haven't yet begun using the talents that the [00:50:00] Lord has given them to live the best life possible, that they would start doing so. And I would just say this, if you haven't done this yet, please go into a mirror. In front of one in your home, wherever you're at. And please stand there until you can look yourself in the eyes today and tell yourself that you love you because the Lord loves you.

[00:50:24] And until you love yourself the way he does, you won't ever take a chance or get out and do the things that Scott or Rob or others have been doing in their lives. And once you feel the love for yourself that the Lord has for you, anything is possible and you will have a life beyond your wildest dreams.

[00:50:47] So that's my prayer for everyone today.

In today's episode, I ask Rob about:

  • His book Is it God or Coincidence...
  • How he went from homeless to where he is today and how his faith journey was part of that...
  • How you can see God acting in your own life...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

Finally you’ll make a change when the fear of the unknown becomes more than what you know then you won’t make that jump.  I’ll stay stuck. – Rob Ekno

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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