Act Like Men

Men’s Leadership Podcast

#38: Overcoming Life-Altering Challenges – Featuring Dr. Sonny Castilleja

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August 3, 2023

Show Notes

Dr. Sonny Castilleja is a pastor in Longmont, Colorado. He has been pastoring the same church since 1982. He took over this church as pastor from his grandfather who started the church several years before him. His story cannot be reasonably put into Show Notes and be effective to guide you through this topic. Please be sure to listen to this episode.

In 2000, he was involved in a car accident that completely wiped out his memory, both short-term and long-term. Can you imagine having something so important completely taken away from you in an instant? Add to it that it was not his fault — nothing he did to make this happen. At that point, you do not know if it is ever coming back and what your future is like as a result. What would be your reaction? How would you process this having no idea of the future?

Added to it, now someone close to you becomes your caretaker and you are completely dependent on them to always do the right thing for you and still take care of themselves. Talk about a trust journey whether you want to or not. What is in your life right now, that becomes a complete step of faith for you and not necessarily because you want to take that step? How are you dealing with it?

Sonny and Nancy also lost their daughter. First she turned her back on God, then her marriage, her family and her own body. She had spent several years “violating” her body, as it has been described. As a result, after several years, she found herself in the hospital and the doctor indicated she needed to have her complete stomach removed. Unfortunately, she died not too long after she hit that point. As parents, we entrust our children to God, no matter what age they are. How is your relationship with God impacted, when your children are in trouble, and there is nothing you can do for them? Do we take on fear, or do we choose faith, no matter the outcome?

In the middle of all of this, Sonny’s brother had serious health issues and would not get help. When it finally came to a crisis, and he was able to be committed to the hospital, it was too late and unfortunately he died within a few days.

Devastating losses will come our way. How do we manage them?

Pastor Sonny indicated that he developed a biblical belief that God is sovereign — in ultimate control. Only God can give you peace in the middle of this kind of turmoil. Only God will reveal Himself to us in these devastating times if we let Him. If we know that this world is not all there is, and we are being prepared for Heaven, knowing Jesus came to die to pay for our sins so we can go there, it gives us hope on the toughest day and on the darkest day, to be encouraged in our faith that no matter what happens, God will work it all out.

Job – the man of faith who had everyone turn on him said: “The Lord giveth and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord” Job 1:21. That is the kind of faith I want to have.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Where are you in dealing with losses and disappointments in your life? Are you blaming, bitter, medicating in some manner, or despondent?
  • What one lesson did Sonny talk about that was encouraging to you as you are working through a tough spot in your journey?

Highlighted Resource

The Great Shepherd, by Jim Grassi

The Great Shepherd

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About Wendell Morton

Rev. Morton graduated from Western Evangelical Seminary with a BA in Religious Education and a Master of Counseling Psychology, Rev. Morton was in full-time ministry for 17 years with both small and large churches. He spent four of those ministry years with Promise Keepers. He was the the US representative to PK Canada – serving on the PK Canada Board.

Wendell also spent 23 years in Corporate America. He built and led sales teams that worked with very small businesses and other groups that worked with Fortune 500 companies. He is gifted at helping identifying the next generation of leaders as well as helping those around him being successful.

Rev. Morton has a passion to help pastors and church leaders build growing churches. Having men come alongside the vision of the pastor, build a dynamic team, create a plan, and execute the model of “each one brings one” has been proven effective for more than 2,000 years. This approach is a great way for every local church in North America to grow while helping men better understand biblical manhood.

About Dale Eudy

As an advocate for ministry to men, Dale Eudy brings a combined background of leadership skills developed in the marketplace along with senior leadership experience in the Church.

Following military service, Dale earned his undergraduate degree and gained valuable systems and operations experience working for two prominent Fortune 50 companies. Responding to God’s leading in his life to focus on leaders in the body of Christ, he went on to complete seminary and served as a pastor for 16 years in a large church in the Denver area and as a denominational leader at the regional and national levels. With his background, Dale knows the heartbeat of the local church.

Dale’s passion is the discipleship (spiritual reproduction) of men. That passion is what drew him to partner with Men’s Ministry Catalyst. In his words, “The simple call of Jesus to follow him and to make fishers of men is the most foundational call in my life.” Using his spiritual gifts of leadership and exhortation, Dale is a great coach and cheerleader for those involved in the arenas of life.

Dale and his wife Kathy live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and serve their home church, Cherry Hills Community Church. They have two grown children and a caring extended family.