Welcome to our new website!
Feb. 21, 2020

Why Use Your Words?

Why Use Your Words?

1983 - 2013

I wish I could say I always believed in honest and open conversation without the need or necessity to censor words and/or topics. As a teen I was under the impression that I was not allowed to address controversial topics due to always being told to shut up by an older family member as these conversations were "not appropriate" to have. These topics were deemed not appropriate because they might offend someone, talk about a sensitive topic, or challenge someone else's viewpoint.

Thankfully as I grew up, I learned from those around me in college and church. I learned to lean into these conversations and question why they may make me uncomfortable. This was not an overnight change - in fact it took me most of my young adult years to learn how to be comfortable having these conversations.  There were times when these conversations didn't go as planned - and these unplanned conversational directions have been some of the most essential, personal, life affirming, and growth inducing conversations I have ever had.

Now I am not crazy enough to think that mature conversations are appropriate for everyone.  While I believe they are important to have - I also realize that (especially for a teenager) certain conversations are not appropriate. Conversations need to be age appropriate, and the maturity of the person also needs to be taken into account.  That being said - I also believe that no topic should automatically be off topic because it may be controversial.  Instead it should be tailored to the audience that is engaging in the conversation, including sometimes "dumbing" down the topic to make it more digestible for those who may be younger. Have the serious conversations with everyone and anyone if they are willing - but maybe you don't need to have that fully mature and uncensored conversation with the 12 yr olds of the youth group.  

Shortly after returning to Wisconsin, I jumped into working with the youth group at my church, and was shortly introduced to both Aaron and Josh. While I was introduced to them while they were really young (I believe close to 13/14) it was not until Aaron was almost 18 that we started having really deep conversations about personal things.  These included the basics - where do you see your future going, job hunting, healing from injuries, music, and other things that typically come up with a teen just hitting the age of 18.  It was through these weekly conversations over burritos that I started re-enforcing the idea with Aaron that hard conversations can be a little rough, but worthwhile at times.  I'm not sure if he believed me at the time, but I believe that he would agree at this point in time that it ended up working out well.

2013 - 2018

Between the years of 2013 and 2018 I started to get plugged in more with Josh in addition to Aaron.  Aaron and myself continued to have deep conversations - often including topics which many people would consider "not polite" for conversation - everything from politics, porn usage, accountability to stop using porn, things going on in each of our heads, and whatever else was going on with us at the time.  Josh soon joined in these conversations, and it didn't take long for him to dive deep into these conversations with us.  I will admit, being almost twelve years their senior is something I sometimes question. Usually I question myself on these things when I am letting my depressed brain take over - but when I sit down and objectively look at things I cannot help but remember all the life affirming conversations we have had.  We have supported one another when one of us struggling with something, often times gently (and sometimes bluntly) reminding each other that our lives are not our own and guiding us back to God when we start to wander.  But through it all one thread remains the same - the best conversations we have had have been those difficult conversations that usually start with Aaron or Josh acting sheepish when the topic of conversation comes up.  I made it one of my objectives to figure out a way to help these two younger guys learn how to have those delicate and serious conversations as I had been taught by others when I was a young man.

During this time, I had started listening to podcasts while at work to supplement my music.  What I started noticing is that some of these conversations we were having ourselves were being covered in podcasts as well.  At this time Aaron, Josh, and myself were getting together almost weekly to break bread and have very in depth conversations.  It was during one of these times that I had the idea that having three people of two different generations, with different backgrounds might be something that would work.  At first I did not clue Aaron or Josh into what I was doing, and started researching how to do this podcast thing for almost a year.


At the very end of 2018/very start of 2019 I sat Aaron down and asked him a question.  I presented my vision for the podcast to him and asked him if he wanted to join in this experiment.  Shortly after he agreed, I asked Josh to join in the fun as well.  It took a little more planning after this but in February we recorded our first episode and released it to the world with trepidation.  Not everything went smooth from the get go - and we had some learning to do as we went along.  Some things that seemed like they should be so simple were not - but we learned.  In our first year, we dedicated to releasing one episode a week, had our first roundtable interview process, brought in youth group kids to talk about things they were passionate about, and after getting Aaron and Josh comfortable speaking behind a microphone started tackling some of the more serious topics on my list.

2020 and beyond

So what do we have planned for this year?  Well we are going to continue to have these conversations on topics that not only will typically be topical, but also will be things that a lot of people may yell about as they can be divisive at times.  We are also going forward and keeping the weekly Monday episode (mostly hosted by myself) and are continuing to try to work on our skill set.  We did not set out to make any money on this - and are doing it more for fun.  We are enjoying ourselves doing this - and current plans are to continue to do this.  

In mid February 2020 Paul was able to get this domain (useyourwords.cc) and now a blog post will now start to be integrated with episodes going forward.  Some select previous episodes will be revisited through blog posts.  Beyond that - we also want to get more interaction from you - our listeners.  We are working on new things but we are busy guys (Working full time, one getting married soon, youth group, worship teams, personal bands, etc) so things might not come immediately - but we will see what need to happen and work on making it a reality.

Now all of this being said - below is the very first episode from Use Your Words.  Be gentle - we were 100% new at this below - but this goes further into who we are as people, how we met, and how this process started.