Tyler D. Smith is a pastor, NBA sports writer, basketball coach, and author. He's also worked in the Christian music industry. He graduated from Lincoln Christian University and has served in ministry since 2005. Today we welcome him to Bleeding Daylight.

 

 

  

Tyler D. Smith: https://tylerdsmith.net

Searching for Seven: https://www.searchingforseven.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/searchingforsevenbook

 

 

 

(Transcript is a guide only and may not be 100% correct.)

 

Emily Olsen: 

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Today’s guest has already done so much in life but he is forever searching for more. He has just released a book titled Searching for Seven. We’re about to find out what it’s all about in this edition of Bleeding Daylight.

 

Tyler D. Smith is a pastor, NBA sports writer, basketball coach, and author. He's also worked in the Christian music industry. He graduated from Lincoln Christian University and has served in ministry since 2005. He lives in Indiana with his wife, Katelyn and their two daughters, Addi and Ellie. He's recently released the book Searching for Seven. Over the next several minutes, we'll find out a bit more about the book and about Tyler. It's a pleasure to have you join us. Welcome to Bleeding Daylight.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Thank you so much for having me. How are you?

 

Rodney Olsen:

I'm well, I could have said a lot more about you, including the fact that you even find time to record a bunch of music. Is there anything that you can't do?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Well? I mean, I've been very blessed. All the things I get to do, it's a, you know, all the things kind of fit together and I still make sure I prioritize, you know, things that are most important. And yeah, I would say I'm maybe not the best dancer in the world.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Okay. Yeah. I can relate to that. Now. I mentioned your book, which starts with a lesson that you learned back when you were just 15. Tell me about that basketball game that, that changed your life and the lessons that you learned from it.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah, that's something that I didn't really understand until much later in life, which I love when, uh, when God does that for us, it was a random game. I was playing JV basketball at the time, which here in Indiana, it's the step right below the big time, the varsity team. And I was a sophomore like very well there, one particular game where it wasn't playing well, the coach pulled me out of the game and then like a minute or two later, he put me back in and I had all this adrenaline from being mad at the situation. So I got in the game and played really well at that point. Well, that game actually changed the trajectory of my basketball career. I ended up dressing varsity later that year, I played the next two years and then God actually used basketball to get me to go to this Christian university. Honest truth, the only reason at the beginning that I went, I had no intention of being in ministry or really anything of that nature. I wanted to go major in communications and play basketball and that was it. Um, but after one year that school, there was a local youth group that called me and asked me to start up a youth program. And I've actually been doing youth ministry ever since it's been 15 years. And so I look back at that moment and I think man, if it wasn't for that one random game basketball game by sophomore year, the trajectory of what I ended up being into ministry after that, it's crazy to look back and see how God used that experience.

 

Rodney Olsen:

I notice that you use a lot of stories to communicate. Do you find that you naturally think in analogies?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Absolutely. Uh, there could be something random happened on the side of the road and I'll say, Hey, that's a good sermon analogy. Actually some of my students, a couple of them are in ministry now. Um, they, they joke with me and they'll call me or text me and say, Hey, this is a good sermon analogy because that's just the way my mind thinks. I feel like people in general just really relate to stories and analogies. And so I try to do that the best that I can.

 

Rodney Olsen:

And does your wife fear that at times knowing that anything that happens could end up being a sermon illustration?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Well, thus far she's also a preacher's kid. So she grew up having those analogies from, so I try to make sure I don't do anything too embarrassing to her. And, and just to, if it's an analogy about her or the kids, I try to try to build them up the best I can.

 

Rodney Olsen:

You're also a sports writer and you said that you did want to work in communications. So tell me how all that fits together.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah. So going to college, you know, for that degree, I really wanted to get into broadcasting journalism, and I was doing a little bit of it on the side, just more as an outlet, a way to enjoy sports and talk about sports. But what happened was on my sports, Twitter feed, I was able to build a nice little following and that helped me land this side of sports, running for the Pacers and basketball, which is the college team here. And, you know, I feel like I'm writing constantly, whether it's for sports, writing a message for church, writing a blog, it's just something that I love doing. And it's one of those things as, as a writer, it's almost like you're, you're never fully satisfied until you write what you felt like you were called to write, and then you're onto the next project. Um, but it's cool getting a chance to combine the two, any chance that I get this project with the sports running gig, where I was able to raise awareness and money for a homeless project in Indianapolis, and one of the NBA players actually retweeted it and got involved. So there's, there's ways that you can combine, um, you know, sports and faith and writing process

 

Rodney Olsen:

Do you sometimes find, even though that you have been able to combine them, that there are conflicts between those two sides?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I think in some situations, depending on the employer, depending on the project that you're involved in, um, I'm thankful that, uh, the sports running gig that I have, there's a lot of freedom. Uh, the, the owner of the website is a Christian himself. Um, so there's not a whole lot of conflict on, on my end. I could see for some people, especially the beat writers, that the ones that follow the team everywhere, you know, I go to the home games, but if it's a beat writer for a big paper or big station, you know, they need to report anything and everything, even if it's against, you know, maybe, uh, some of their beliefs or anything, but I've been, I've been blessed in that way.

Rodney Olsen:

And we are going to get to talk about your book in a little while. But another thing that actually adds into that is, is the life experience that you talk about throughout that book and the stories that come out of it. Uh, another area that you've worked in is, is Christian music. Tell me about that.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah. Another thing that was a dream job for me, a buddy of mine who is now out in San Diego, he started this company from the ground up to work in the Christian music field. Uh, putting on Christian shows, promoting them. We were mainly, uh, through the Midwest in America. And, uh, we had just, a lot of shows, got to work with artists, such as Newsboys and Toby Mac and skillet and Switchfoot and just a lot of artists. So it was really cool to get a bit of a behind the scenes look, to be able to spend some time with tour buses and get to know the artists. And really you see when you see all of the work leading up to a show, all the promotion, all the details. And then when the show actually hits, you know, that's almost like a sports analogy to, you know, all the work leading up to the game, you see the fans, the reactions, you see maybe a decisions for Christ. And it's a very rewarding thing once it all comes together, but that was a great, it was probably about three years. I was in that company.

 

Rodney Olsen:

It's interesting when we're talking about some of those musicians that have such a high profile, I've had the opportunity through radio too, to see some of that closeup too. And I was certainly, and I don't want you to name names, but I have certainly seen that there are some that absolutely live up to what's on the album and they live up to the lifestyle that they portray in public. And there are others that don't. Do you think that there's a trap for, for some musicians in, in that world?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I think so, especially, you know, I'm just a big Christian music fan in general, you know, even apart from the company I was in and I like to listen to interviews, I like to hear their stories and you've had some artists even the last few years basically say that, yeah, this is a very tough industry. And there's a lot of people that maybe are higher than you that are only worried about the bottom line. They're only worried about streams and sales and all that. And you can fall into that trap, even though it's Christian music into that, maybe rock star mentality. I think it all comes back to the people you're surrounding yourself with. And sometimes those artists were forced to be around maybe people that aren't really building them up and care about other things. But if you can find the right support group, even if you're traveling, it's going to be really important. And you know, like you said, I agree that, you know, when you get the inside, you kind of see which artists are doing this or that, or which ones are living up to it. And, um, it can be a little disappointing at times, but it can also be a good thing when you find some of those genuine people that are really doing it for a purpose.

 

Rodney Olsen:

And there are certainly some very genuine people that are, uh, just the same as they are on stage in person. And that's always wonderful to find, but I'm wondering for your perspective, seeing as you've been close up, do you think that sometimes we, we pay too much attention on what people who are in the public eye might say, for instance, you're up close to some, some sportspeople and also some musicians, specifically Christian musicians, do you think sometimes we get it wrong by trying to take our cues from, from those people who are most of the time they're just entertaining.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Absolutely. Um, you gotta pick your role models very carefully. Um, you know, just because they say maybe something from stage doesn't mean that they're necessarily living that out. Same thing with athletes, you know, so many times fans get upset when they see an athlete that made a mistake. And I just want to remind them, you know, these are humans, and even though they're in the public eye, they have a lot of pressure on them, a lot of stress. So I think I would, I would try to follow, um, you know, the words of Paul that said follow me as I follow Christ. And if you find those people, whether it's celebrity or, or just a friend that you can really see the fruit that they are following Christ the best I can then maybe take some cues from them and follow up some other examples. But we gotta be careful when we make people Pete Rose or even idols in our lives. I suppose.

 

Rodney Olsen:

That's the other side of it too, is that we know for ourselves that we fail. So often we mock it up and we give ourselves licensed to do that. And we say, yes, I'll ask for forgiveness or move on. I've I've messed it up again. But we often don't give those people in the public eye, the same license to mess it up, ask for forgiveness and move on, where we're holding them to an unrealistic.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah, I'm reminded of a quote. I can't remember who said it actually, but they said, you know, we often judge others by their actions and we judge ourselves by our intentions and there's kind of a, a gap there of how we treat other people compared to herself.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Having a look at you at your book now searching for seven. It's an interesting title. Maybe you could explain a little bit of what that means.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Seven, as far as the book, title is a double meaning, a seven scripturally is the number of God. If you really look deep into it, it means completeness and perfection. So in a way I am searching for him, but I'm also searching for my own faith seven days a week. And I started to realize, as I was writing, I didn't have a title at the very beginning, but all of my notes were basically fitting into the same Mike, that same category of, I need to look for God seven days a week. Can't just be Sunday. Can't just be at a camp. Or when tragedy strikes, I have to look for him, be aware of him. I believe he seeks us and is pursuing us always. But like any relationship, there's gotta be a two way street there. Um, I don't want to say, you know, God show up and I don't do anything to return to seek him. So that is where the number seven comes in.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Going back to that very first story in the about that, that basketball game. There's a great lesson in there too, about you being put back in because many people would probably assume that God is there watching us. You're saying we're searching for him, but he's also searching for us. And we can sometimes think that that searching for us is to try and catch us out. And yet you drew something very different from that basketball game.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah. The coach that came over to put me back in the game, I couldn't believe that he did it because I was playing so poorly for so long. And I also, I mentioned in the book that I was kind of a know it all 15 year old, and I was talking back to him and stuff and I was sitting there thinking this is not good for my basketball career, but he came over to the main, you know, a minute or two later pulled me back in and said, let's go. And after the game actually told me that, you know, I know, I know there's more in there for me. It was years later that I realized, I believe that's what God does to us. You know, when we screwed up many times, he doesn't just say, you know, forget you and stay on the bed.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

He comes right back over to us. He doesn't get back in the game and you can look, you know, story after story and scripture of these people is men and women that screwed up that maybe had a bad past, or maybe they were involved in the current sin. Jesus was patient with them, comforting show compassion. And the second they came to him is the second day we're forgiven. And so that's another example of, you know, why would we think God can forgive people, but he can't forgive us. You know, he's seeking us out and it's not just to call out our sin. It's to love us and to say, Hey, get back in the game. I know, I know there's more in there.

 

Rodney Olsen:

That would be a very powerful story with the young people that you work with in, in youth ministry. What are, our young people having to face that we never had to face up to?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

One of the overlying factors is similar in terms of what people have dealt with through the years. But because of social media, I think it is, it's just spotlighted. It's, uh, it's highlighted even more for, you know, today's generation. So what I mean is I, I feel like many years people have been searching for their own identity. They're trying to find their own purpose, their own meaning. Am I valued? You know, do I have any point? Is my life, my existence mean anything to anybody? Why am I here? Those kinds of questions. But again, because of all of these things that kids have today and young people have today, they're constantly comparing themselves to others. Um, they, you know, it's like, Hey, if I had what the kids in my class had or what the kids on my street had, I was in good shape, but now I'm comparing myself to millions of people online every day.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

So even if you have something good or you have a good life, you're like, well, somebody else has something better. And you maybe, maybe never content with that. Or maybe even though, because you have all of this stuff, what's crazy is today's generation. They have, they have more than everybody else, but they're also bored. They're more bored than everybody else. Cause they just want that instant gratification. So it's a constant comparison game and game that nobody can ever win. And I'm still looking for purpose and meaning and identity, but they're looking for often times and wrong.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Most of us have experienced people that are even much older that are still looking for that identity. They're still looking for their place in the world expecting that, Hey, I thought when I get a bit older that it would all fall in place and it hasn't yet. What do you see as the antidote to that common call of the heart, to where

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I think a big thing which I touch on in chapter two is we've got to find a way to serve because we were created to do it. We were created in Christ to do good works. And I feel like sometimes when we don't put action to our faith and we don't get out there and serve people and do ministry of some kind, it's like an item that you haven't used in your house for a long time, it's going to stop working. You know, actually mentioned that in the book that I don't have something to say for things that are so serious, like depression and suicide and mental health. But I do think if someone was struggling with those things, I would point them to some of those scriptures where I would say, Hey, let's go serve somewhere together. Let's see when you help someone else.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

When you give your life to others, will you start to feel that purpose and that meaning and feel like I'm, I'm worth it. Um, you know, there's a story. I did not share this one in the book, but there's a story I heard of a lady who was that very day. She was about to take her own life. And somebody came up and asked her where the vending machine was and she walked him over to it and showed it to them. And they said, Oh, thank you so much. And kid you, not that woman decided to stay alive because for one minute she felt needed. So those kinds of stories just gives you chill sometimes because it's like, we've got to help people understand that part of their purpose and finding their own value is when they help other people, they feel like they they're useful. And so I would say, get out there and serve, and also again, surround yourself with the right people and continue to see God in every way you possibly can think of.

 

Rodney Olsen:

I was certainly going to touch on that. I noticed in the book, you, you mentioned that if you have a friend who is suffering from depression, to ask them to be involved in something with you, and I know that you're not suggesting that, that they don't take medical advice and, and all those good things, but that whole idea of actually serving rather than focusing in on oneself, it seems to be an upside down concept that we kind of know in the back of our mind, it's, it's a good thing to do, but so rarely is it practiced. And I wonder if that's part of that yearning for where do I fit in as well?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I would agree. And you, you mentioned that phrase upside down. I think there's so many things that Jesus taught that were upside down. You know, for example, if you want to be great and his eyes, you know, especially around the country, I know it's worldwide in many places, but it's all about, you know, success means how much money and how many followers and you know, the attention you have. Jesus had that upside down approach of if you want to be great, you need to be a servant.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Do you think that sometimes we even lose sight of that in our churches? I know that there are many people searching for significance and, and searching for what is the meaning of life, and yet, sometimes our churches aren't showing the way forward in that serving one another.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Yeah, I think the church can do a much better job. You know, if a church is to focus on just the numbers, I've heard it said before that, you know, the ABC is the attendance, attendance building and cash. And if it's just kind of like what they put their focus on, uh, then people may lose the heart of what they're doing more at the same time. It's, it's a group of Christians. They feel it in their heart to serve, but it's more of a like, look at me, you know, I'm on a trip, you know, I'm serving, look how great I am. You know, that's not groups as well. So I would, you know, find a, or at least encourage, I'm not saying, leave your church, encourage your church and other Christians to have that right mindset of, I want to serve because I do it for the least of these. I'm doing it for Christ, even a cup of cold water in his name, you know, it's for him and have the right mindset, you know, servant's heart. And that's the way to go.

 

Rodney Olsen:

One of the chapters in your book is Choose the Right Battles, uh, talking about deciding what we're going to focus on. And I think in some ways it ties into one of your blog posts, which is about the criticism that people so often get. And we seem to live in a world where everyone is open to criticism that you touched on the whole social media thing earlier. And that there are so many people willing to point the finger and accused. Do you see that as being, uh, something that's very damaging in our society? And how do you see that play out with the people that you meet with daily?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

It's a big problem. You know, I touched on it, whether it was the book or the blog about, you know, Christian artists and people saying, Oh, they don't say Jesus enough. Or, you know, this pastor said, one thing that I disagree with and therefore I should call him a false teacher and a heretic and tell everyone to stop following. And you know, the problem is when non-Christians see that kind of division and that kind of criticism, you know, it's tough because they'll think I don't want to be part of that. I want no part of that whatsoever. So we've gotta be very careful, you know, we want to build people up and I make the point, you know, imagine if the marriage work like that. Imagine if I said, Oh, I disagree with my wife over one thing. So we have to get a divorce.

 

You know, you're not always gonna agree a hundred percent with everybody, but you just immediately go, it's tough. You know, you look at things like the super bowl, you know, what's everyone talking about, Oh, how horrible the halftime show was. And this person, I mean, every single year, it's like the first thing people want to do. And yeah, social media has played a part in that. You know, everyone says, I've got to share my opinion and I've got to join the crowd of saying what's good. And what I don't like, you know, you think of current events, everyone has an opinion, even if it's not educated about what side I want to take. And I want to be very loud about it and, and instead, can we take the approach of love? Can we take the word of scripture where it says be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow, to become angry and just take a more calm approach. Even if you disagree with someone, can you do it in love? Because that's just creeping into our society with our young kids as well.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Do you feel we hold the balance between standing up for what we believe to be right, and to be the truth, uh, and sometimes having to call out a error or heresy as many people would call it, how, how do we draw that balance between that? And, and then just throwing mud at everyone there, as we see so often in social media,

 

Tyler D. Smith:

The best thing is just to follow the best we can, the example of Christ, because he would call people out, but he would do it in a loving way. He was very passionate. Obviously following his conviction, I would always tell someone, follow your convictions if you feel led to speak up, but be very, very careful how you're doing it. Um, there's just so many examples that there's people on both sides of every debate. You know, sometimes I even think there's four sides because there's the Christian side and there's non-Christian side on each and they don't always agree with even their own team. And so you have to be very careful approach approaching. The key thing I think is conversation, ask questions, show people, you value them and care. And then maybe you have an opportunity to share why you believe, why you believe instead of just putting everything on blast, you know, ripping them apart for having a thought that's different than you.

 

Rodney Olsen:

I like that idea of showing people that you, you value them, that you, you care for them. Uh, that's in, in sharp contrast to what we see a lot of the time. And yet, if we do truly care for someone where we're wanting to, to help them, we're not wanting to just tear them down and that seems to be it's that upside down world that, that Jesus offers. And also having the humility to recognize that maybe they do have it right and we need to learn from them. That can sometimes be the hardest lesson.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Absolutely. But it's one that I, I mean, maybe earlier in my life, I wouldn't like to have learned, but now I would love to learn that I would love to be, you know, take a humble approach, but then, um, hear other ideas and be able to truly listen to my brothers and sisters and maybe some of the hurts or some of the, you know, okay. Like why, why do you feel that way? What, what have you gone through to make you draw that conclusion? And just a better conversation better way forward is what we're looking for.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Coming back to the book. What was it that made you decide to, to ride it? Was this a journey that you yourself had to go on. And so it's those principles that you learned in that effort?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

It was, you know, I think especially through high school and in the beginning of college, I was known as a Christian, but it was more of the, you know, he doesn't really do anything too bad if he goes to church kind of Christian and I realized later in life that there's much more to it. And Jesus says the following him, not just believe in him following him. And so all these things that have happened, you know, a lot of the stories from the book or from recent, and then some are from a long time ago, but it's been my own journey. And there was a time period when I thought I cannot not write this book. You know, this is an offering to God, whoever ends up reading it. I hope it blesses them. But it's something that, you know, my kids will be able to read one day, maybe kids in the student ministry can read, you know, whoever else that God thinks needs to hear it. I hope they get their hands on it, but it's my own journey. It's an offering. And I just hope God uses it.

 

Rodney Olsen:

I was going to ask you, who do you feel that the target audience might be? And you've mentioned some people there, but do you think broadly there's a range of people that would enjoy this. I'm wondering specifically as well about those people who might be saying I'm searching for something in life. I'm not sure Jesus, is it, is this book going to work for them as well?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

That's my goal. Um, sometimes people will say, when you do a project, whether it be a book or anything else to have a really specific target audience, but for me, because of this topic being so broad, I wanted to reach a broad audience. And I've already had a lot of feedback from both teenagers and older folks. Um, you know, some that were maybe pleasantly surprised, uh, an older generation that was thinking, Hey, this, this is speaking to me, which is great. But yeah, I definitely want it to fall in the hands of some people that maybe they're non-believer, or maybe they're on the, on the fringe or maybe they, they did the whole Christian thing. And now we're not sure the really, they think there's even a chance that there could be a God, then he is worth seeking out to find out. So it is a very broad audience of who I'm trying to reach with the book, but I'm also thankful that I, I think it turned out that way that, uh, it can be,

 

Rodney Olsen:

And of course the title itself searching for seven suggests that it's not for people who may have their mind made up, but people who are still in that search and that should be all of us.

Tyler D. Smith:

I agree. Absolutely. And hopefully, hopefully a lot of it is, you know, I believe worded in that way that, you know, I'm not trying to come across as the one that has all the answers or, you know, the hero of the story. It's basically, you know, Hey, I'm, I'm another person that's on this journey, looking for him through all things. Here's some things that have worked scriptures that have, uh, meant a lot to me. And I hope they do to you as well, but absolutely. I hope that it helps a skeptic, uh, look for God and I hope it helps, uh, the current Christian to strengthen their faith as they continue to do. So.

 

Rodney Olsen:

And you've mentioned that even though the book hasn't been released for too long, so far, you have had some, some feedback. What are people saying about the book as they're reading it and getting back?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

It's been very humbling to see the feedback so far. Um, I've talked to some and a lot of people that I don't know, but they've, they've said things like, you know, this is the playbook, uh, like my personal playbook for looking for God. Um, I, I got to get in touch with a high school friend that I haven't talked to in probably 15 years and someone who was not always a Christian and, and, you know, came to faith a few years back. And this person said that, you know, this is the book, um, for the, for the person who is tired of being, uh, maybe preached at doesn't mean, they're tired of going to church, but just the constant, like you need this and this. And here's why. And so I was very humbled by that. Um, but yeah, just seeing I actually, I pulled the Bob Goff and put my phone number in the back of the book for anyone interested. Um, just because I'm so open in the conversation and whether it's a text or phone call or anything, not just to get feedback and, and, you know, Pat myself on the back, but more, Hey, let's discuss this further. So I've been very humbled by what I've heard so far. And it's a, it's very, very rewarding.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

And as I say, the book is all about that search. It's written in language that people are going to find absolutely accessible and what I find interesting is that again, that point that you constantly use story and we see in the scripture that there is story after story, we read those narratives. Do you think sometimes we, we break scripture down too much and we concentrate on, on verse after verse, and, and of course there is time for that deeper study, but we, we lose the, the bigger stories that we can find in scripture?

 

Yeah, I think so. Like you said, there's a time and a place for, I think all of these different strategies when you were seeking God and looking through his word Archer, and this is not original idea, you know, we've seen other churches do it, but do this thing called storying in their small group time where, you know, the leader, instead of feeling like they have to teach a Bible study, they simply bring a story from scripture. They try to share it by memory at first, then the group read the story. Then they go around and talk about, okay, who are you in this story? And it's a very effective process that again, people relate the most to those stories. I want to be like, Jesus, what did he do? He taught so much in story. Um, and yeah, he, you know, sermon on the Mount and other times teaching in the synagogue. And that's a great thing too, and it's needed. But most of his interaction was out with people, small groups of people, large groups, but he would share stories. And I feel like, know, the more we can do that, the better off we're going to be. And the more we're gonna understand the heart of God.

 

Rodney Olsen:

You mentioned that a lot of the book came out of your own desire to keep searching for Jesus through everything that you do every day in the writing process. Did you continue to, to learn, did you continue to find Jesus in ways that you didn't expect to find Him?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Absolutely. And that's one of the goals of my entire life is to be a continual learner and really everything that I'm doing, you know, even when I applied for the coaching position, they said, what's your greatest strength? And I said, I'm a student of the game. I'm continuing to learn. I don't have it all figured out. I want to be that way in my faith. Um, there's a lot of stuff that notes over the last few years that I wrote down that I want to include in the book and some stories that happen and then some things happen more recently. And I kept thinking, you know, thank you God for, you know, teaching me that and giving me those words, um, to include in this endeavor. And yeah, it's a great thing to be able to, uh, continue to learn and grow.

 

Rodney Olsen:

If you had to just outline a few of the great takeaways that are in the book that you want people to, to latch onto, what would they be?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I think most importantly, I think too many people in the world want God to be real and want God to show up. But those same people often do nothing to seek him in return. And I've been in that boat myself. But as I said earlier, I believe that it needs to be an actual relationship, um, where it's not just, Hey God, you know, I'm going to spend time with you one day a week and then I'll see you next week. I'm going to go think about my own, everything else that's going on. We need to seek him. And the more we understand you have the awareness that he is there and all, you know, no matter what we're doing, that's going to help us. Um, one of the takeaways too, that I try to teach in church is that, you know, when people go off to conferences or camps or Christian concerts and those moments, they, they often feel really impacted.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

One of the reasons is their mindset when they're in those environments is it's in the right place. They know they're going to hear from God and they're open to it. The trick is how do you get to have that mindset on a day to day basis? It's easy when you're overlooking the ocean, the mountains, the stories guy, or you're going through a tragedy, or you're going through a promotion or something, you know, a blessing in life. What about the Tuesday afternoon when you're in your cubicle at work? How can you have that awareness that God is there, but that is also Holy ground that you're standing on. That is the key. And that's the process, the journey that I to encourage people with in this book.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Well, the book certainly does that it's, as I say, an easy to read book, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't challenge. When we're looking at all the things that you have done so far in life and all the things that you're currently doing, I guess it's difficult for you to project ahead and say where you might be, but do you have any inkling as to where God is going to lead you in the coming years?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

I'm not sure, but I'm looking forward to what happens. I'm very blessed and fortunate with all the things that I'm currently doing. I try to live my life one day at a time. And as far as career paths, I try to look maybe a, you know, Hey, here's the next year. Here's what I think for this year. We'll see what the year after that holds. Um, but I that's part of that, that process, you know, I have a, a chapter on, uh, your finding your calling and your will, you know, God's will for your life. And I think it's more of a day to day thing than it is a destination as a career. Um, so I, I'm just trying my best every day to, to listen, spend time with God, um, love what I'm doing for the foreseeable future. And we'll see what the future holds.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Do you think there's more books on the way?

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Very possible. I think that if I were to, if God were to reveal a specific topic or title, and that's often how even my, my blogs or my, uh, my sermons come across, if I feel that, um, that nudge from God, then I can start the process and compiling notes and him revealing even more things that he wants me to say. So no current plans. Cause I love that, you know, getting to talk about this one and promote it, but it's very possible in the future.

 

Rodney Olsen:

Tyler, if people wanted to get in touch with you, if, if some of this has sparked some thoughts for them that they want to explore with you, where's the best place to find you

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Best place is probably the book's website, because I know, especially in some parts of the country or the world, um, you can't always find the links if you want to purchase the book. But if you go to the book's website, searching for seven.com, you can find the direct links to purchase. You can also find my blog, my Twitter account, um, different ways that we can connect. And even if you don't want the book, but you want to connect with me, there's ways to do it on there. So searching for seven.com,

 

Rodney Olsen:

It has been great to chat to you to talk through such a range of things, but also to, to hear about this book, which I think is going to be very helpful for a lot of people. And we look forward to hearing a bit more about it as time goes on and, and the lives that it changes, but Tyler, thank you so much for spending time with us today.

 

Tyler D. Smith:

Thanks for having me, Rodney. I enjoyed the chat very much.

 

Emily Olsen: 

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