Modeling The Difference: A Pastor’s Journey From Near-Death To Inner Peace

Show Notes

I recently had an eye-opening chat with pastor and author Robert Bass about the connection between our physical and spiritual health. As someone who used to struggle to balance those areas of my life, our conversation really hit home. After a bad motorcycle accident, Robert learned firsthand how being physically healthy can aid recovery. But more than that, he discovered the deeper links between caring for our bodies and nurturing our relationship with God. I loved Robert’s perspective on living purposefully through that connection, not chasing external destinations. He shared how having inner peace, joy, and love – despite tough situations – attracts others who want what we have. His advice? Ask God to transform you from within, let your “light shine”, and model the difference to those around you. If you want to hear more of Robert’s wisdom, check out his book “Hidden Fruit” on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. He’s offering a free sample for my listeners at (use code SAMPLE). Let me know what you think! What stood out from our chat? How do you balance your physical and spiritual health? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

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00:00:00 – Launching a Christian or Conservative Podcast

00:00:47 – Robert’s Background and Purpose

00:02:50 – Connection between Physical and Spiritual Health

00:05:24 – Increasing Physical Health

00:14:24 – Finding Purpose in Life

00:15:31 – Living with Purpose

00:16:24 – God’s Limitless Nature

00:19:26 – Finding Peace and Joy

00:24:50 – Hope and Purpose

00:26:33 – Sharing Hope with Others


00:00:00 – Johnny Sanders
Do you enjoy listening to podcasts and think, man, I would like to make my own podcast? This is where I found myself last year, and I have learned a lot about what to do and a lot about what not to do. I’m offering consulting services to help you launch your podcast, especially if you’re looking to make a more Christian or conservative-based podcast. Find out more I have a link down in the description below if you would like help getting your podcast started. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Faithfully Engaged today. I’m excited to have Robert Bass here today. Robert Bass is an entrepreneur, author, and pastor, and he is dedicated to encouraging others through the word of God, which is obviously a fantastic thing. His passion helps is to help people grow to their full potential. So, Robert, it’s great to have you on today.

00:01:10 – Robert Bass
Thank you for having me on, and I’m looking forward to the conversation.

00:01:15 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. So let me start, Robert, just with kind of the softball question. Noah mentioned a little bit of entrepreneur, author, and pastor. Just tell us a little bit more about yourself.

00:01:26 – Robert Bass
Yeah, so I wasn’t born as a pastor, right? And so I’ve been through a lot of life before getting into ministry. I used to be a tennis player, an athlete. I worked on cars, actually worked on Mercedes for eight years, and then got into a motorcycle accident, which led me into health and fitness and ended up opening my own personal training business and helping other people get healthy physically, which kind of got me into the church and ended up seeing how our physical health and spiritual health were connected together. And that’s kind of what led me to grow my relationship with God even more. And now here I am, a pastor, able to help people spiritually.

00:02:14 – Johnny Sanders
This just brings up such a really important topic and one that I like to get into on the podcast that I don’t want us to just have, you know, say, hey, I know God, I’m a Christian or whatever. Like, I want us to be engaged. That’s the name of the podcast, faithfully engaged out there in life. So I love this topic of kind of that mixture of physical health and mental health and spiritual health. Tell us, expand a little bit more, and tell us why your physical health, why that might impact your spiritual health.

00:02:50 – Robert Bass
Yeah, it’s such a good question. Because God has created us to be a whole person. Right? We are not just a spirit. We have a body. We have a mind, will, and emotions. And so we’re, we’re a complex group of people. We are. But it’s so beautiful how all of those things work together. And we all know if you’re physically tired, it’s going to affect you mentally and emotionally, and if you’re mentally and emotionally exhausted, it’s going to affect you physically. And obviously, spiritually. Healthy affects both of those other categories. And so it’s so amazing how these actually work together. And we need to be thinking about how they are united and uniquely woven together. And if we’re just focused on one and not the other, we’re not really thinking about how we can be completely whole. And that’s one of the things I love to talk to people about, is God’s designed us to live a completely whole and blessed life. This is the way he designed it at the very beginning of Genesis. He created us and said that we were good. And so the way that we were created is good in God’s eyes. So how do we live that way? That’s just what the great conversation is about, finding that balance.

00:04:16 – Johnny Sanders
You ended that really well by finding that balance, and that’s what life is. It’s a lot of balance between, yeah, physical, am I working out, eating well, things like that, mental, am I able to take some of these breaks and ease off of work, maybe to not be overloaded? Spiritual, have these spiritual disciplines, am I praying, giving thanks to God? All of those are important, but that balance there is really, really important. So let’s take, I think by and large, Christians understand the spiritual discipline component of praying and going to church and things like that may not be very good at it, but they may understand it pretty well. On the healthy side of things, especially physically healthy, there’s not only not necessarily a lot of follow through, but sometimes confusion of how do I even become healthy. So, somebody that’s trying to increase, like, especially a Christian, they’re trying to increase their health. What do you say? What are ways that people can increase their health in their lives?

00:05:24 – Robert Bass
Yeah, to increase your health, especially if you’re someone who follows God. My first advice is to ask God what you need to do. And I think we take this for granted, right? I mean, if we believe God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then we should be asking him, hey, what’s the thing I need to be focused on in my life? We may want a certain goal. I remember when I was a personal trainer, everybody had a weight goal. I want to be this amount, and they would set that goal, but I would challenge that. Well, why is that number so important to you? What are you hoping to accomplish if you weigh this amount and so really beginning to dive in and allow God to speak into it? I had one of my best friends tell me one time he was having a very hard time working out. I mean, just no motivation. Tired from a full day of work and all the other obligations in life. And he says, okay, God, I know this is important. I know I need to be physically active and exercising. So, God, give me strength, give me the motivation to do it. Within a few weeks, he was waking up at like five in the morning, full energy, wide awake, and ready to work out. And I truly believe that God was giving him the strength and motivation to wake up, to take care of his body, because our bodies are a gift from God. Like, we were given these bodies as a gift and we should be stewarding this body. Well, so what? One of the things that helps me take care of my body is thinking through this is a gift. And I want to be able to tell God, I took care of the gift that you gave me.

00:07:07 – Johnny Sanders
I really like the way that you thought that out, first off. Yeah, God, what, what do I, what do I need? Like, we think of that in that spiritual aspect of praying to God about salvation. That’s something that, like my wife and I, we pray for our kids all the time that, that they would know Christ and everything like that. That’s a great prayer to have. But we don’t always think about it on the physical side. And what I need to have, whether it be that strength to simply wake up in the morning, I love putting that out there in that way and just taking those real practical steps of being grateful. You’re right. Every day that we. This is something. In my day job as a counselor, I tell people all the time that this is the only day that we are guaranteed. We, after today, we don’t know. It doesn’t matter how healthy you are. It could be a car wreck, could get into some, have a heart attack. You just never know. And being able to live not in fear of that day happening, but more so in being grateful and being, being happy about the days that we do have. And that shifts perspective consistently of what can I do with my body, with my health to show that gratitude. I don’t know when this episode will air just yet, but we have gone through two straight weeks, my family and I, that we’ve been unable to go to church due to illnesses. And that’s. It’s been hard. We didn’t like that. It’s been frustrating. But what’s been good for us is to get rest, to drink water, to not go to the gym during these last few weeks when we’ve been sick, because we need to rest. And that’s showing God that, no, we’re taking care of this body during this sickness time. And even in the absence of church, while that’s hurt, it’s, we’re praying for that sense of gratitude that it should hurt. Like, we want to be upset that we haven’t been able to go to church and that gives that renewed gratitude that when we do get to go back, we will be so excited to get to see our brothers and sisters and to be able to praise God together, it just means that much more. And, yeah, I definitely encourage those of you who are listening here to ask yourself with your physical health, do I want to lose weight solely just because I look better? I mean, that there’s, there’s something to that. But like you’re saying as a physical trainer, why, why do I want to lose weight? Why do I want to lift more weight? What’s that? Motivation. And that’s really going to point us in the right direction if our motivation is to give God more glory.

00:10:05 – Robert Bass
Yeah, absolutely. I was recently training for an obstacle course race, and I was having a hard time finding the motivation to go to the gym, to go running. I’m not a big fan of running. For me personally, it’s just kind of boring. But I was trying to find this motivation. And I’m at the gym working out, and this gentleman comes in and he’s in a wheelchair and he’s in the gym and he’s working out and he’s doing, and he’s doing what I can. And at that moment, God reminded me of my motorcycle accident and how I was in a wheelchair, how I had crutches, how I couldn’t walk, and I had to over there was a season where I had to have people take me places and help me walk and to get around. And so when I saw that, God quickly reminded me, like, it is a gift that I can run, it is a blessing that I can actually run. And so, yeah, I don’t necessarily enjoy it, but it changed my heart, it changed my posture, that I viewed that opportunity. And so my hope is that when we think about health and fitness and taking care of our body is that we don’t have to have something in our life that we look back on that was a tragedy, that we can appreciate what we’ve been given and go from that gratitude. It’s like, man, thank you for today. Today I’m going to maximize today. I’m going to maximize my potential that I have today. One of the things that helped me recover really well from my motorcycle accident was the fact that I actually was physically healthy. And so the doctors and nurses say, Robert, you have a better chance of recovering because you were already healthy. You are already internally and physically in shape. Therefore, this recovery is going to be easier. And so, yeah, we don’t want bad things to happen, but if they do, we do want to be able to say, hey, we’ve done the best that we can to take care of our body and give us the best ability to do things in this world.

00:12:10 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, absolutely. And that shows that if we’re putting in that work and I’ll apply this outside of physical health, maybe it’s in your relationships. That’s what my wife and I talk about often. Not that we don’t ever have arguments, but we had probably, front-loaded our arguments at the beginning of our relationship. And it’s not like we’re fighting all the time, but we put in a lot of work to figure things out. When we’re dating and engaged, we put in a lot of work there. And not that we don’t ever have any arguments now, but because we put so much work in, it’s not as difficult. We’re able to work things out. We bring kids into the world and we’re able to work together as a team. Had we just coasted through life and been in that honeymoon phase and acted like things would be perfect forever, eventually, when these trials come, we wouldn’t have handled them well. So. And your point with this motorcycle accident, you couldn’t have predicted that to happen, but you had put work in, you made yourself healthy to begin with, and that helped allow you to withstand these challenges that you weren’t aware we’re going to happen. And, and this is part of, again, going back in that balance, you need that physical, you need that balance with your, that strengthen your relationships with your spouse, with your friends, family, also, more importantly, relationship with God. And this really leads to more of just a broader topic of purpose. People having purpose in life see this all the time with clients who come in who are depressed, or anxious. And that’s not to say people with a good purpose in life can’t feel that way, but you’re going to have a much-increased chance to be depressed if you don’t really feel like you have a purpose in life. So for you, as you’ve looked in your life and also when you’ve maybe counseled members at your church and other parts of your life, how do you find people are able to find their purpose in life?

00:14:24 – Robert Bass
I found the most successful people find their purpose through their relationship with God. A lot of times we try to find our purpose by reaching a destination. Like, okay, my purpose is to have x amount of dollars or to be this in a career by age, such and such, and, and we set these goals where when I do this, when I achieve this, then I am living my purpose. Maybe even when I become an athlete, or maybe someone’s goal is to be a pastor or to teach or whatever it may be, but we really look externally to find our purpose. But what happens with that kind of mentality is we feel unfulfilled until we reach that. But if our purpose is through our relationship with God, then everything I do has a purpose. Me being on this podcast is my purpose. Just as much as when I’m preaching on stage, as when I’m at home being a dad, as when I’m at the grocery store. You see where I’m going here. And so I can live a very fulfilled life. I can live every day, every moment, to the maximum potential, when I realize that my purpose is through my relationship, not reaching a destination.

00:15:44 – Johnny Sanders
That’s such a great point. Not only is God much bigger than any destination, um, that, that we could ever get to, the destinations we have on this earth are, are limited. You could have, you could get that big promotion, you, you could get the best time, be a professional athlete, whatever it may be, but eventually you will no longer have that, even if that just comes to death because our time here on earth is limited. But, but God is not limited. Um, he is in a sphere beyond our even comprehension. So finding that purpose through him, through Christ, um, that radically changes your mindset. And I’m sure you, Robert, and those of you that are, that are listening or watching this on YouTube or whatever, you probably have known somebody, or maybe you’re even guilty yourself of being so obsessed with results. Yeah, I’m gonna get that promotion, like said, or just achieve even, even really good things. Talk about fitness. I’m gonna bench press 300 pounds or whatever. That, that’s great. It’s great to have those goals, but that purpose is unfulfilling. Unfortunately, we see this often with celebrities who have millions. They think they have it all, and then either just lose that money or even sadder, they end up maybe even killing themselves. It’s that fame and fortune that you can get here. Those goals, they’re simply not enough. But as Robert was saying, God is God. God is enough. Um, that despite you maybe not reaching all those individual goals, he is the one that helps fulfill you and gives you that purpose. And what’s even better, um, and I kind of asked this as a question to you, Robert. Um, how do you see when people have God as that focus? How do you see their successes, maybe even seeing those goals like you talked about, get met? Like, what? What do you see there? Or how do you see their production level change whenever God is made that standard?

00:18:13 – Robert Bass
Yeah. So we can kind of answer that question by diving into maybe the mental health or emotional side of things is, I’ve met a lot of people, and I’m sure you have, too, is when we have fear and anxiety or depression or any. Anything that we’re working through in our life, we want to say, and we want to even think that, man, life’s going to be so much better. When I don’t struggle with this or when I get to overcome this, life is going to be this or that, and they look forward to that day, which is fine, but what happens to now? How do we live life now in spite of experiencing fear or whatever it is that we’re going through? This is the revelation that God gave me about my book on the fruit of the Holy Spirit is, in spite of what we’re going through, we can have peace in spite of being in a situation. I can have joy in spite of when people do bad things to me, that I can love them. Why? Because the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a fruit of God’s presence in my life. And when God is in my life, he transforms my life. And so I can be struggling with something, but all of a sudden, when God begins to enter the situation, that I can have peace. You see this in so many stories in the Bible where people were thrown in the lion’s den and faced with persecution and their lives threatened. And yes, they could have felt fear at that moment, but then God comes in and comforts them and gives them a supernatural ability and strength that is. Is beyond understanding, and it’s beyond what we can comprehend. And so, again, this is connected to our purpose, because if our purpose is through our relationship with God, then I can have peace in the middle of problems, that I can love people when they’re. When people have hurt me I can forgive them when they don’t deserve being forgiven. I can have peace and joy in a situation in spite of the situation not being a joyful or peaceful one.

00:20:34 – Johnny Sanders
That is such an important dynamic there of the difference between the situation and really that just that spirit, that inner working of the Holy Spirit within us. As Christians that talk about joy, that’s something that a lot of Christians will talk about. Yeah, I have joy because of the forgiveness of my sins. That had nothing to do with my own abilities or anything. And the love of, love of God in my life, that gives me joy, and that’s great. Like, I want us to hold on to that. This situation that you’re in may not be a super joyful time. Say, share this often with, clients, talking about going through grief. Like, if your best friend dies, or your mom dies, you’re not gonna be super happy all the time and smiling. Like, there’s, there’s some sadness there, you miss them, you love them. That’s a sad moment. The situation is not joyful, however, when we have it, when we have that joy of Christ within us, one, hopefully, that that person, you know, they knew Christ, and that, that changes your perspective there. But even if they didn’t, it. Your mindset, just that peace that you’re having there like you described, completely changes your outlook there. As long as I’m responsible for one, either being happy all the time, um, no matter the situation, um and, and have to, like, fake things throughout the time, that’s not peaceful, um, to fake a smile when you’re not really happy. And as long as my responsibility to make everything around my life all situations perfect, there are never bad situations in my life. Talk about peace. You’ll never have peace. That’s going to be chaos. Whereas if you have that peace, that tranquility that you can only have through Christ, even in the midst of chaos, you still feel that and definitely hear what you’re saying there, that if you don’t have that peace, then you’ll let those situations, let your emotions run wild, from depressed to anxious to mad to whatever it may be, you don’t have anything to ground yourself in. And you’re honestly, you just become a. Become captive, become a prisoner of your own emotions, which is a really scary place to be.

00:23:08 – Robert Bass
Yeah, it is. And for me, what is so important is that for those that believe in Jesus, that, that have hope in God, that there is actually hope. And so even though I’m in a fearful situation and I may feel fear, like, I have hope that I don’t have to, that I don’t have to live this way. And so we as Christians have such a powerful hope that not only we can experience, but offer to other people.

00:23:39 – Johnny Sanders
And that hope there is just so it goes right back into having a purpose. I use this example sometimes with clients of just talking about negative thinking whenever my mind goes all over the place. If we truly let ourselves think that life is meaningless, that what we do is meaningless, I mean, this is, this is why people will end up harming themselves or killing themselves. Because if life doesn’t matter, then who cares? It’s not that big of a deal. Now, of course, you and I, and hopefully those of you listening, don’t believe that, like, yes, life is worth living. You, you do matter, and we matter because of who made us. We’re made in God’s image. So life does have meaning, life does have hope, and that hope brings purpose. And, yeah, if you don’t have hope, you don’t have purpose. Obviously, use an extreme example there, but things can get dark very, very quickly. And I guess this kind of leads into a good part to kind of end on for those that have that hope. We have that hope. We are Christians, and we want others that maybe don’t have that hope. Maybe they’re in a really dark time in their life. How have you, as a pastor and just as a Christian in general, how have you seen ways best to share that hope with others who quite simply just don’t have any hope in their life right now?

00:25:17 – Robert Bass
Yeah, I believe Jesus said it best to let our light shine before others. And it’s not talking about bragging, but if we have peace in difficult situations, others are going to want that peace. I mean, if we have joy and we’re in a situation that’s not joyful, it’s going to stand out and people are going to notice. And so we have to model it. So if I am living a life where I don’t have peace, God says I can. And so, lord, how do I live with this peace? God, show me what I need to do, or show me what I need to stop controlling, trying to control in my life that’s robbing me of peace. And when we begin to do that, you will notice that the people in your world and in your circle will seek out what you have. They’re going to want to know, what is it about you that’s different than everybody else? Because it is, I mean, a true follower of Jesus. You’re different than everybody else in the world, and it’s speaking a different language. But that’s okay because in a moment where people need Jesus and they need that hope, they’re going to come to seek you out and you’ll be able to show them where you find it so you can’t help others find something that you haven’t found.

00:26:33 – Johnny Sanders
That’s a really good point. And I think that goes back to even that mentality of praying for, praying for those moments, praying for those in your life that you see. Like sometimes you can just see that, that darkness on somebody or just the angst, the anguish that they’re going through, praying for them that, yeah, that God would heal them or save them or whatever, but also praying God, how, how can I be used in their life? Can you pray that next time that we’re having a conversation, that a moment comes up that, I can bring up Christ to them and show that boldness? But you’re absolutely right that even if you have the perfect words to say, um, you, you’ve got evangelism down. If your life doesn’t reflect it, you’re a jerk to everybody else around you. Doesn’t really matter what you say, um, your heart’s not in the right place. They’re going to reject it because they see right through you. So having confidence, reading scripture, having some of those things ready to say, that’s great, but I love what you’re saying. Get your life right. Pray for those opportunities for people that are in your life. You could be a horrible public speaker and make all the difference in the world. It doesn’t really matter those words as much as you know the truth. And you, you, you have the strength and ability to say the truth.

00:28:01 – Robert Bass
That’s right. Amen. I agree with you.

00:28:05 – Johnny Sanders
Great. Well, Robert, this has been a great conversation. I want to give you a chance here at the end of one. Just kind of share with people a little bit of ways they can be in contact with you after this episode airs and also just kind of share with the audience a little bit. I know you hinted some about your book earlier, so just tell us a little bit about the book that you’ve written.

00:28:32 – Robert Bass
Yeah. So if your audience would like to know more about this fruit of the Holy Spirit we’ve been talking about, I wrote a book about it called Hidden Fruit and they can actually get a free sample. So if you want to learn more about love, joy, peace, or any of those, you can go to the website And when you click on one of these short ebooks, just enter the code SAMPLE during checkout and you’ll be able to get that for free. And so that’s my gift to you because I want everybody to experience the fullness of what God has for their life. So you can also find me on social media at Robert A. Bass and I appreciate the opportunity to share with you today.

00:29:14 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. So I’ll include that down in the show notes below. And yeah, Robert, once again, it was great having you on today.

00:29:22 – Robert Bass
Thank you. I enjoyed the conversation.00:29:24 – Johnny Sanders
Great. And thank you to everyone listening on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you listen to this audio, and also on video on YouTube and Rumble and just appreciate all the support that you guys give. Definitely check out those show notes for Robert’s book down below and I will catch you down at the next episode.