Q. As a child, did you feel you were ‘different’ compared to other kids?
A. Yes, of course I felt different. However, I had a few friends who were always there for me. My parents often reminded me that I was a creation of God, wonderfully and fearfully made. (Psalm 139)
Q. Can you tell us about your childhood?
A. I loved playing with marbles, fishing with my dad, and playing soccer with my brother and cousins.
Q. As you grew into a teenager, the time when most worry about ‘looks,’ etc. were you hindered in terms of confidence when it came to girls?
A. In high school, I was a little envious about other guys who dated pretty girls. I began to have anxiety over whether or not I’d ever have a relationship or marry at all. In time, I gradually overcame that fear. By the time I was in my twenties, I was pretty confident...maybe too confident. LOL!
Q. I would imagine a person who is different than anyone else has had a difficult time in school with his/her peers. How was your childhood and how did kids in school treat you?
A. Sure, I used to get teased a lot, and would come home crying. But day by day my parents would tell me to just smile back at people, start talking and playing as much as I can with them so they would know I’m just like them. It started to make a difference.
Q. Concerning your physical disability, what were your student days like?
A. A lot of bullying went on but I still enjoyed life. I went through a depression and even suicide thoughts from ages 8-12. The thoughts during that time were: I didn’t want to be ridiculed, and or feel like an outcast or be a liability/burden to someone. Also, the simple pleasures of normal life seemed difficult, I didn’t see myself having a bright future at that time.
Disabled or Being “Different”
Q. What is your advice to people with similar disabilities?
A. Anyone with any sort of disability must know that they are loved by God, and that He sees them and knows their needs. I hope to encourage adults and children that God does not give us more than we can handle. Our hope isn’t on this earth but knowing that those who believe will go to hope, HEAVEN. In the meantime, if He doesn’t change a circumstance, your heart can be changed to a point that you’ll see one day, I believe even good purpose brought forward.
Q. How did you accept yourself the way you are?
A. I accepted myself after reading John 9, I was 15 when I gave my life to Jesus. I knew I had to make my life right with Him but I blamed Him for my pain. I read how Jesus said that the blind man was born that way so that the works of God would be revealed through him. I said to God that if He had a plan for that man I certainly believed that He had one for me. I totally surrendered the ‘needing to know the plan’ idea, and trusted in Him one day at a time. I realized God wasn’t the one that gave me this pain. But what was intended for bad, God turned into good.
Q. What are some of the things you can do that most people wouldn’t expect?
A. A. I can open a can of coke with my teeth.
Q. What advice can you offer to other people who are mentally or physically disabled, and feel like their life is "over" and worthless?
A. Any negative lies and thoughts that come in are not from God if the statements are not in-sync with the Word, the heart of God. Every day pray that the Lord guards our heart and minds as we warfare through this battle of principalities and powers of darkness. We have the truth. Remind yourself of the truth of your identity, purpose and destiny in Christ. Put on the full armor of God. Ask God for the gift of faith to believe every loving word of the bible, and the discipline to have time in worship or prayer or reading of the scriptures to further the growth of your faith. Take one day at a time. We all have a fear of being lonely. Some have been abandoned but Jesus is with you. Trust Him and if you don't know Him, seek Him.
Q. Did you ever wish to have arms and legs or is that something that never crossed your mind?
A. I had wished, and prayed, and hoped for many years to have arms and legs. However, I now live with a different attitude. Like everyone else, I am able to live just one day at a time. However, it is by God's grace that wisdom, which I am now able to see that good things do come out of suffering and difficult circumstances.
Q. What are your fears, if there are any? Do you have trouble trusting people since you're completely dependent on them?
A. I wrote an entire chapter in my book, “Life Without Limits,” about trust, and what I learned about trusting people. I also share my thoughts and experiences about fear and what it did to me. I encourage you to read more about those two very important topics in my book.
Q. What have been some of the most difficult struggles you have faced?
A. Accepting things I cannot change; Thinking I can change some things without God.
Q. Nick in your books you speak a lot about your faith. Can you tell us why your faith is so important to you?
A. I am not someone who says "just have a positive attitude," or "just have a little faith," because without God, those words are meaningless, and empty. My faith in God, and my personal relationship has given me the strength to go on, and the humility and grace to ask Him to change my life each day. I learned that if my circumstance doesn’t change then my heart needs to change. The truth is, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved US...for in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Q. Did you ever feel angry with God for being born with no limbs?
A. I struggled with doubting God, and being angry with Him about my physical appearance, especially from the ages of 8 until about 13.
Q. Do you feel God has a purpose for you?
A. Absolutely. I believe I'm living out His calling for my life.
Q. Are there areas in your personal walk as a Christian that you struggle with?
A. Sure, just like everyone else. At times, I find I am undisciplined in reading the Word or having a quiet time with God so that I can know Him to a fuller degree. Because God is long-suffering, patient and kind, He draws me back to Himself. Most times, it is through a testing or trial. Other times, it's when I went my OWN way and fell flat on my face in failure and shame. He forgives me, picks me back up and sets my feet on the righteous path.
Q. Many people think that God is just a sort of positive energy that believers rely on in difficult times. What do you think about that?
A. History proves the existence of Jesus Christ. It is the world’s choice to believe that what he said is true or not. My biggest problem is not being limbless. My biggest problem is that I am going to die. The only person historically physical and spiritually that died, and rose himself from the dead is the most powerful person that is recorded in history. It says in the Bible that the spirit of God that raised Jesus lives in me, I also will be resurrected. I am looking forward to going home. I feel sorry for the people who struggle for perfect peace without God. These people go to materialistic things, including relationships or convince themselves of a pinnacle or a positive attitude that they think can be accomplished. These such answers are not absolute….for they will give no soul peace on a death bed. I am thankful that I know that my soul is in the creators hands.
Q. How important is the spiritual aspect of life for you?
A. It is the most important because I am a greedy person… 90 years is too short, but 4 trillion years in heaven is just the beginning of eternity…
Q. You came to Christ at a young age; have you ever felt despondent enough (as a Christian) to consider taking your own life?
A. I gave my life to Jesus at age fifteen. When I read in the bible that Jesus knew that the works of God would be displayed through the blind man in John 9. Although, before having faith in Jesus I was angry at God, and blamed Him for my lack of limbs, and the fact He didn't seem to care. The reason why I thought He had forgotten me or wasn't real at all, was because He didn't answer me when I asked with much faith for limbs miraculously, and neither did He answer me when I asked why He had done this. Because of being bullied at school and experiencing a lot of negative attention, feeling like I was a burden to my parents and not seeing a bright future, I attempted to commit suicide by drowning myself in a bath tub. As I was in the process the thought of leaving my parents with much grief helped me to not go through with the suicide. It was by God's grace that I am still here, and I can hear the words ring true in Jeremiah, chapter 29, and verse 11-14a.
Giving Back/Finding Hope
Q. You visited Africa at age 20, and gave away $20,000 to the poor. Can you tell me why you did that and how it made you grow as a person?
A. I grew up seeing many in poverty, dying of starvation, and it angered me. I wanted to do my part. I used to pray that God would generally help those who are in desperate need but when I had the revelation I could be His hands and feet and do my part, that's when I made the decision to go. It humbled me deeply to see such poverty first hand. It also ignited a fire within me to be an example and also to inspire others to do their part to make a difference.
Q. How do you manage to be happy despite having physical challenges?
A. God is with me and loves me. Knowing that truth gives me hope and joy. He gave me my purpose and showed me my destiny. Being thankful, and content for what I do have in my life, instead of being discontent for what I don’t have.
Q. What does helping others mean to you?
A. Out of His great love for me, God put a love in my heart for others. Helping others doesn't look the same every time, and it won't be the same for everyone. Most of the time for me, it comes in the form of giving someone my attention, praying for that person even when it's most inconvenient, listening to someone share their heart, and asking God to give me the right words to share. Helping others means loving them. Loving others means putting their needs ahead of your own.
Q. Through your conferences, and your life itself, you have helped many and even prevented young people from committing suicide. How does that make you feel?
A. I am humbled beyond words that God has chosen to use me in such a way. I can honestly say that I am thankful to the point that the suffering I went through is all worth it, if I was able to help a person by giving them hope. The hope I share is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Q. You talk about finding a purpose, how did you find yours? How important is it for a person to find that?
A. It was a result of learning to take one day at a time. Discovering what I like to do, trying it out, and seeing what comes of it was very exciting for me. I encourage you to try new things, and just watch how your passion ignites. Being an encourager to others is to me one of the most satisfying things in my life.
Q. What gives you hope?
A. Discovering the truth of these three things: my value, my purpose and my destiny. Knowing that my value is in God; my purpose is serving Him, and my destiny is where He leads me. Hope helps me to know that I’m not alone, and that because He is with me, I will not go through anything that I can't handle.
Q. Do you have today more hope than in the past? If yes, how does it come?
A. Once I came to my faith in Jesus, my hope was even beyond the grave, and that hasn't changed. But I have seen how over the years that as I go through more difficult times, I see how the promises of God pull me through every time. Ups, and downs but He carries me through.
Q. Can you please give three recommendations for people without hope?
A. Ask God to give you hope.
Be thankful for what you have.
Live one day at a time.
Q. Are there still times in your life where you lose your hope?
A. Faith is believing without seeing or feeling. I never lose my hope because God never changes. Of course, there are still times of fear or uncertainty but I remind myself of all the times I got through other times of trouble, and how God is always there.
Q. Who is your biggest support?
A. My parents helped me to know the truth of my value isn’t determined on what I can or can’t do. They were the pillars of strength for me in my childhood. Many people, and experiences along the way encouraged me to be who I am today.
Q. What gives you the will to persevere and to be someone who will motivate others as well?
A. Finding my/your purpose is the first important step to living a life without limits. Maintaining hope for the future and faith in the possibilities even in difficult times will keep you moving toward that goal. But to be fulfilled, you must know in your heart that you are worthy of success and happiness. You must love yourself, just as God loves all who are faithful. My joy includes getting to know God more and I’ve realized that there is one thing better than going to heaven today…it is to bring someone with you.
Q. Things people take for granted like brushing teeth and hair, how did you adapt to each obstacle?
A. Trial and error were our strategies. We laughed a lot, and I cried too. We didn’t have much use for adaptive devices because they got in my way. You don’t truly know what you can achieve until you try, and keep on trying when you fail, were the two attitudes I learned from my parents.
Q. For many people, a life without limbs means a limited or no life at all. You've proved so many people that they were very wrong. Listening to your interviews it seems so easy, though I imagine it isn't or at least it wasn't like that growing up?
A. Sure. It's not an easy life, but every human being goes through suffering. I had and still have the strong support of my parents, who've helped me to realize my true value and that it isn’t determined on what I can or can’t do. Rather, it is what God wants to do and does through me for HIS glory.
Q. What do you recommend for overcoming depression?
A. Seek God. He is Sovereign. He is the Creator of all things. His Word is True and He is faithful to His promises. He loves you and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for your sins and mine, so that you can have peace, an abundant life in Him, and most importantly-eternal life! Go to the “Know God” section on the Life Without Limbs home page to learn more about Him. He changed my life. He rescued me from the pit of hell. I know that He wants the same for you.
For the times you're down, try counting your blessings, and focus on the things that you are thankful for. Also, find a way to serve another person without expecting to receive anything back. It is always a blessing to give than to receive.
Q. What do you recommend for people who want to find happiness within themselves?
A. Happiness is fleeting. It's an emotion. What I have is true joy. And it comes as a result of my faith and trust in God. Material possessions cannot ever truly and fully satisfy you. A positive attitude will only take you so far. It's knowing that God is real and that He is in control of your circumstances, and that this life is not all there really is. God has so much more in store for those who have put their faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ.
Q. Why do you think so many people are unhappy with their lives?
A. All of us go through brokenness, hate, fear, loneliness, loss and depression. It’s a part of life. People who put their hope and trust in earthly things will also end up dissatisfied, lonely and hopeless. The joy and peace that I have in my unchanging circumstance comes from God. That's not the same as happiness.
Q. We live in tough economic times, what do you think we need to focus on as a global community to confront the challenges ahead?
A. The encouragement I’d give is that together we can in love for all people support one another. All around the world there are many issues, and all I know is that through genuine concern, and love for each other we can become stronger as we work towards the goal, one step at a time.
Q. How do you overcome tough days and situations?
A. I overcome tough days by never losing hope and having faith. Faith is believing without seeing or feeling. I never lose my hope because God never changes, of course, there are still times of fear or uncertainty. In those times, I remind myself of all the times I got through other times of trouble, and how God is always there.
Q. What do you do when you feel you’re alone, when you are fed up with everything, when you are down and lonely? What do you do then? And how do you experience love?
A. If I do feel alone or lonely I remind myself of knowing the truth of my value, my purpose and my destiny. Being thankful for what I do have instead of being angry for what I don’t have. I have God on my side. That is a strong part of my faith and my reality.
Q. What have been some of your greatest obstacles to overcome?
A. We all need to be refreshed in faith and understand that we are not perfect. Every day is a battle in trying to be all that God intended me to be
Q. Was there ever a turning point in your life?
A. At age 15, I surrendered my life to Jesus after reading John 9. I knew I had to make my life right with Him but I blamed Him for my pain. I read how Jesus said that the blind man was born that way so that the works of God would be revealed through him. I said to God that if He had a plan for that man I certainly believed that He had one for me. I totally let go of the ‘needing to know the plan’ and began to trust Him one day at a time.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A. I still love fishing. With my hectic speaking and traveling schedule, the rare times I'm able to, fishing brings me joy, pleasure and peace…and also the thrill of a good catch.
Q. The condition you have is rare. Is there a medical explanation for your condition?
A. My condition is called Phocomelia and it literally means "having no arms or legs". There is no medical, genetic, or environmental reason for my condition.
Q. How do you keep yourself healthy?
A. Lots of prayer!!! With a schedule as busy and hectic as mine, it becomes a challenge to eat healthful, balanced meals. I try to make good choices, drink lots of water, and get in as much sleep as I can.
Q. Why did you move to California?
A. The Lord opened up several doors for me to visit the USA between 2002 and 2005. Initially, I was interested in a real estate boot camp at the time so speaking wasn't really what I had in mind. I also met many extended family members and made lots of friends. I connected with one friend especially, George Miksa. He offered to help me start a ministry in the US, similar to what I had already started in Australia. When I said I was interested, he helped set up meetings and my caregiver too. In May 2005, the Lord confirmed, after much prayer, that He wanted me to be based in California, and start a new season, and chapter in my life and ministry. I visited and spoke from 2005 through 2006 and into 2007, and obtained a working visa. Life Without Limbs was formed and established as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2005.
Q. You're of Serbian descent. Many who immigrated to different parts of the world preserved the language and taught children to speak it. Do you also speak Serbian?
A. I do speak Serbian but not fluently. I understand more than speaking it.
Q. Do you think you would have accomplished what you have, had you been born with limbs? Why?
A. I don’t think so. I have seen God answer my prayer for hope, purpose, and significance in such a unique way that it would not be same if I did have arms and legs. I am pretty sure I would have made different choices...I would have become an accountant or something. :+)
Q. What do you want to say to the folks who are retired and in their elderly stage of life?
A. You are still here for a reason, and everyone has the opportunity to influence another person. Make peace with God, make peace in your home and do your best to make a positive impact in those around you. Continue to love.
Q. Is there a single thing that you want people to learn from you? What would it be?
A. I have ups and downs. We all do. Life doesn’t get easier, it just gets more interesting. We all will experience different kinds of hard times. Trust God. Never give up. Live one day at a time, is the best advice I can give you.
Q. You have a great sense of humor in spite of your circumstances. How important is humor to you, especially in light of your disability?
A. I often use humor to break the ice for those who aren't sure what to expect from me. I think I learned this coping mechanism as a young boy figuring out how to get people to like me or befriend me.
Q. What is your life philosophy? Where do you get all that positive energy? What is it that drives you?
A. I am not a person to just say to have a positive attitude because it is empty. Some say that faith is faith and personal. My faith in God and my personal relationship has given me the power, strength, humility and grace to ask Him to change me one day at a time. That if my circumstance doesn’t change, then I’d ask Him to change my heart. All things come together, for the good and for those who love Him. And I know today that I will always learn more in a valley then on a mountain.
Q. Describe an average day for Nick? (What you do/how long it takes to get ready in the mornings/how you get around, transportation to events etc.)
A. As a teenager, I wanted to prove to myself that I could be independent, and it would take me an hour to get ready, brush my teeth, go to the restroom, shower and dress myself. These days I like to focus on what gives me more joy, and save my energy for the things that are truly rewarding after proving to myself that I could be independent. So now, I have caregivers who take care of me, and get me ready especially when traveling.
Q. What do you think your special qualities are?
A. I love people. I love meeting new people. I absolutely love talking to people. I am not a shy person. My mom often encouraged me to "just start talking" so that people could see that I was a normal guy with only a few pieces missing. That prompting early on in my life from my mom really helped develop in me a friendly attitude, extroverted personality, and love for people.
P.S. I am blessed to have quite a large extended family (tons of cousins in Australia and the US). I always enjoy spending time with them.
Q. What are your current interests? Do you keep track of what’s going on in the world – politics, economics?
A. Coming from the financial background, I enjoy doing strong research on the power of the social networking world, and brainstorming how to use that means as a tool to do good.
Q. How much does your hobby renew you and give you strength to go on?
A. My hobby of fishing helps me to clear my mind.
Q. Where do you live/attend church?
A. Although I live in Southern California, traveling quite a lot over the years has made it difficult for me to find a home church. We genuinely enjoy the fellowship of the Apostolic Christian Church in Pasadena. We love and appreciate their loving hearts, and enjoy their family-style of worshiping as a body of believers.
Love & Family
Q. How important has family been in supporting you in your journey?
A. It was THE most important factor. I'm very thankful that they loved me, challenged me to never give up, try new things, and often gave me godly advice.
Q. Do you desire to get married and have a family of your own?
A. God graciously answered my life-long prayers, and provided a godly wife for me. We have a son, Kiyoshi and are expecting our second child in August 2015.
Q. Did you plan on getting married someday? Are you in love?
A. I am married, and I am absolutely in love with my wife!
Q. How did you meet your wife Kanae?
A. I fell in love with her at the top of Bell Tower in McKinney, Texas at the "Adriatica.” The full story is in the book, “Love Without Limits,” but it was a night I'll never forget. I was to speak to a small private party of about 16 people after we watched my short film, "Butterfly Circus.” I shared a little bit about my goals for Life Without Limbs in reaching the world for Christ. When she walked in with our mutual friends, our eyes connected, our hearts were on fire, and the rest is history. Our book, “Love Without Limits” was released April 2015. You can get it here at the Life Without Limbs Store. Thanks for your support.
Q. What qualities or characteristics attracted you to her?
A. She is my best friend, my lover, my wife. I absolutely adore her. She has a grace, loveliness, patience and meekness that I respect so much. She is such a focused and gentle giver. We are thankful for our son Kiyoshi and for children that God gives us according to His perfect will and plan for our lives.
Q. What prompted you to write your first book, “Life Without Limits?” and what do you hope people take away from your book?
A. I wrote this book to encourage people who knew a little about my story, and to go deeper in their own journey of faith in God. To inspire them to never give up on God, especially through the ups and downs of life. I also wanted to share about my life, and how Jesus rescued me and set me free to those who had never heard of my testimony.
Q. In 2010, you released your first book. Many probably wonder how you managed to write? You also stated in one interview that you like playing golf and fishing. How do you do that?
A. I was able to write my books with the help of a ghost writer, a wonderful editor, family, friends, and coworkers.
B. I hold a golf club between my shoulder and chin. It took lots of practice, but I'm pretty comfortable doing it now. Some of you need to see it to believe it. You can see me playing golf in any one of my DVDs. Just go to the Store.
Q. Freedom is a word that we read over and over in your books. Could you define what freedom means to you?
A. True spiritual freedom comes from God alone. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. He alone can free you from worrying about what people think of you, from feeling that you're "not good enough". I have love, joy, and peace beyond circumstances because I put my faith, and hope in the person who has control of all circumstances.
Q. As you state in your books, your faith in God plays an important role in who you are and what you do. How important is it for someone to have that kind of faith and how can they go about achieving it?
A. Live just one day at a time. Seek to have a personal relationship with God, and if you don’t know how, go to the “Know God” page on our website for more information.
Q. Why did you want to write a book, when did it all start, and how long did it take?
A. Writing a book, which can be easily translated into many languages provides another platform for people all over the world to hear a message of hope through what God did in my life
Q. We loved your “Ridiculous Rules,” chapter in your first book, “Life Without Limits.” Do you think that we’ve become too uptight as a society? Why do you think we need to be ridiculous or playful?
A. There’s too much seriousness in the west, and actually I enjoy my Aussie culture because we're more laid back than most countries. Of course, there are various extremes within every society but acknowledging that, I love seeing people laughing, or dancing and being family-oriented. We all need to lighten up a little. Find enjoyment in the simplicity and monotony of day to day living. Even when there is a tragedy, focus on what is true and on what is important. Focus on God.
Q. You wrote in your book, "To live without arms and legs is just half as bad as to live without hope.” Why?
A. We all think that hope at times comes from a better circumstance but we all continually face circumstances, and I've found a hope that's bigger than circumstantial changes. Arms and legs itself doesn't give us hope. I have found many people with limbs but broken hearts. We all ask the bigger questions but when you've found absolute answers that work in any given circumstance, peace triumphs.
Q. Where do you find inspiration and what do you like to read?
A. I love to hear other people’s stories of triumph as inspiration, and I enjoy the book of Proverbs in the Bible for wisdom.
Q. Tell us about your book, what inspired you to write it, what do you hope it will achieve, and who is it for?
A. Since finishing my first book Life Without Limits, (it became an international bestseller), I personally went through two major life-changing experiences. First, I went through a personal crisis in December 2010, and second, met my wife and began courting her at the end of that same year. I love how God allows us to go through difficult challenges to help each other and encourage one another. That's what family is for. That's why I speak, write, sing, act, swim, dance, laugh...
I want to communicate a message of hope and love that continues to help others that I come across in my life.
Q. Where did you go to school?
A. Grades K-4, I attended Keilor Downs Primary School in Melbourne, Victoria. My family moved up to Brisbane, Queensland, and so I attended MacGregor State Primary School (Grades 4-7); Runcorn State High School (Grades 8-12). For my graduate studies, I attended Griffith University at Logan, Queensland. I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree and double majored in accounting, and financial planning at the age of 21.
Q. What kind of memories do you have from school life? How were you treated?
A. A lot of bullying, and teasing went on throughout my primary school years. I went into a depression, wanting to die, and even contemplated suicide (and attempted it at one point). I hated knowing that I was different and feeling like an outcast because of it. Also, feeling as though I were a burden, and a liability to the people I cared about most, and believing that I'd never experience the pleasures of normal life brought me into a deep despair for many years. When I wasn't bullied or teased by others, I criticized myself.
Q. In Grade 7, you were made school captain, how important was that in your development and self-esteem?
A. It definitely boosted my confidence to have my peers look up to me in a small way. It was an experience, which I really needed at that time, to help me realize that I could be a contributing member of society. That was God preparing me!
Q. In college, you majored in accounting and financial planning. Where did you complete this and why study both of those subjects?
A. My dad is an accountant and he thought that it would be a great path for me as well. I dreamed of starting my own business and having employees. I was interested in working with numbers and investments.
However, when I was almost finished with my studies at the university, I had an experience I'll never forget. It changed the course of my life forever.
During one of my very first talks at a high school in Australia, I shared my testimony, and a lot about my personal struggles. I encouraged the audience by telling them that I LOVED them! After the talk, the students lined up to give me a hug. In that line of probably a few hundred students was a girl, who began sobbing uncontrollably as she approached me. She thanked me over and over again for telling her something she has never heard before. She said to me, “No one has ever told me that they loved me. No one has ever said to me that I’m beautiful the way that I am.”
In that moment, when I realized that I had made a huge difference in that girl's life in a meaningful and positive way, the thrill that I felt was beyond anything I had ever experienced up to that point in my life. The joy and peace that came over me in knowing that this was my true calling was undeniable. From that day onward, my undying passion was to speak hope and love into another person's life wherever and whenever God prompted me.
Q. You had your first speaking engagement at 19. Can you tell us about that experience, and what you learned about yourself?
A. I was quite nervous and prayed to God desperately that if He wanted to bless this in my lifetime, He’d have to show up and give me the words to speak. I was so nervous my palms got sweaty (just kidding). It was at a public high school so I didn't preach, but I shared my personal testimony.
Q. What message are you trying to get across to those who you speak with?
A. I want people to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is hope in Christ. That entrusting your future in God, who has a greater plan for you that you can ever imagine, is the wisest decision you'll ever make in your life. A verse from the Bible that really helped me out was the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 11.
Q. What would you say is the difference between a motivational speaker or positive thinking promoter, and you?
A. Positivity and motivation isn’t enough. The love my parents showed me was not even enough. I’m not a superhero or a guy with a really positive attitude about everything. I still have struggles and I still face obstacles in my circumstances. The difference I think is that I am a man of faith and without that key factor, I wouldn’t be who I am today. However, I am not the person who will tell you "pray for a miracle and it will come if you pray hard enough." God doesn't answer our prayers according to what we want. He answers prayers according to His perfect wisdom. Some are greatly disappointed in their faith walk because they've been promised miracles that never came to fruition.
God promises forgiveness of sins through His Son Jesus Christ. He promises His Holy Spirit for comfort, wisdom, faith, renewal. He promises that He'll never leave us alone. I have a pair of shoes in my closet just in case He decides to give me limbs, yet I have peace knowing that He may choose to heal me not here on earth, but in heaven.
Q. What is Attitude is Altitude? Can you also share a story from your travels which really impacted you?
A. Attitude is Altitude is a company I started in 2007, which offers some of my motivational and leadership materials. It also provides a platform for me to be able to speak in public schools, corporate settings, and in places where I am not allowed to share my faith or preach the Gospel. It’s my tent-making business, but more importantly, it's a door that I often use to get the opportunity to share my testimony.
One example of an event that impacted me was when I gave a motivational talk at a prestigious university in Beijing, China and stayed for a Q & A session immediately following. During the Q & A session, a student stood up and asked me straight up, what motivated me to do what I do and what gave me joy in life? That was an amazing opportunity where I was able to share my faith in Christ.
Q. You are a board member and President of Life Without Limbs. Can you tell us what does the organization do?
A. Our mission is to cross boundaries and break down barriers, to build bridges that bring people to the love and hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone. Please go to the About Us page to find out more about our mission. We also send out monthly newsletters and updates so be sure to sign up on the home page if you are interested.
Q. What lesson have you learned through your travels? What do you feel we all have in common?
A. I've learned many lessons along the way, but if I had to narrow it down to one, it would be that every man, woman, and child desires to be loved, to experience true joy and true peace, and the one that finds Christ, receives all of it and more. God is the only being capable of loving you unconditionally. His love NEVER fails.
Q. I've read somewhere that many people want to interview you. How many requests do you get per day?
A. In 2008, which was about 3 years after Life Without Limbs was established here in the US, the seeds of faith and hard work started showing up in very unexpected ways. The number of invitations that we saw come in through email, phone calls, personal requests, and mail was reaching up to the thousands per month, even several hundred in one week. I know that God opens doors for me and I am following His lead.
Q. At many of your events, you allow people to hug you. Why?
A. The hug I'll never forget was during one of my first speaking engagement when a girl was crying and asked if she could just come up and give me a hug. She came forward in front of everyone and gave me a hug, and thanked me because she said that no one has ever told her that she was loved or beautiful the way she was. Hugging disarms people generally but especially with people who don't know how to exactly greet me.
Q. You have visited several prisons in your life, what do you like to share with prison mates?
A. Jesus forgives all sins. That there are people outside of those prison gates you are more trapped than them on the inside. Prisoners who are depressed and scared because they don't know the truth of their value, purpose and destiny. God has the love to turn our broken pieces into something beautiful if we trust Him.
Q. You minister around the world to children, churches and businessmen. What message is on your heart at the moment?
A. In such a world and generation where so much information, entertainment and stealth vicious pressure in being someone you're not, or having something you don't have yet, the message is to preach the truth. To know our true worth, and knowing that we are all loved, and we are here for a greater purpose.