How God Uses Little Things to Transform Lives

Mentor Mama:

Today we are going to be hearing a testimony about how a law enforcement officer found Christ and the impact studying God’s Word has had on his mission to share what he knows with troubled teens. Our guest today, Matt Thornton, founder and CEO of My Father’s Business, a ministry whose mission is to engage the youth in his community and guide them into becoming better versions of themselves, and author of the newly released book, “Cop in Crisis to Cop in Christ,” will be sharing with us about his journey to Christ and his career as a detective and patrolman and how those things eventually led to a changed life and a desire to intercede on behalf of local youth, but first a word from our sponsor.

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Mentor Mama:

Matt Thornton is a 46-year-old father, a detective and patrolman. He is a former manic depressive, suicidal and a dreadfully sinful cop who was desperately lost. He was as close to taking his own life as any cop has ever been until an unlikely encounter on the night shift changed his entire life. He is now an advocate and living testimony of the Grace of the Lord, Jesus, and also the desperate need for mental health training and openness in his profession. He teaches a monthly training course and his story has been shared with millions due to the graciousness of CBS, NBC, and ABC television. He has been blessed to be the founder of an outreach entitled, My Father’s Business, also known as MFB. MFB is designed to save lives like his was saved. Their main target is street kids, young gang members, and the fatherless. What started off as simply six young men in a small gym has now turned into a movement that has served hundreds and hundreds of Illinois youth. Through MFB they have been able to pour over $300,000 back into the community in seven years of existence. They teach every youth who walks in their doors about the Lord, hope, love, and they chip away at the barrier between the streets and the police. Please welcome Matt.

Matt Thornton:

Thank you so much. That always blows my mind to hear that. When you look back at what God’s done, it’s humbling.

Mentor Mama:

Yes, humbling and amazing, truly. Matt, give our readers here some background. What made you decide to become an officer in the first place?

Matt Thornton:

That’s a wild, unlikely story. I wasn’t the nicest kid growing up. I didn’t do well in school. Never aspired to be anything, I barely passed High school, never went to college for one day. Never went to the military. I actually got arrested and charged with a felony when I was 21-years-old. So I really was behind the eight ball and never aspired to really be much. I went to work in a warehouse and I had two kids and was just barely squeaking by, check-to-check, not making much money, but I was okay with that. I realized that I would never go much farther than this. So I did that from 20 until I was about 29. I never really liked police officers, that’s the irony in here. I was pretty much a rebellious kid. I didn’t grow up hanging out with the best of crowds and I really didn’t like cops, so I never imagined I’d be one. But then when I was 28 or 29, two of my friends that I used to hang out with, they went to college and military and they did all this stuff and they became cops, and I thought because of the stories that they would tell and their training and all that stuff, I thought, you know, that would be a cool job. They got tired of me asking questions, so I ended up getting that felony dropped down to the highest misdemeanor, still on my record, but I was able, without the felony conviction, to fill out the application. All you need is a high school diploma and fill out the application. So I filled out a couple applications and the first place that I tried, they dropped me due to the background checks and being in trouble in the past, but the second place I tried was Zion. And, still to this day, I don’t know how, it must be just where the Lord wanted me because I was dead last on the list. There’s a hiring list when you become a police officer and I was dead last on that list. I barely passed the test by like a couple points and I’m the only one left from that list at the PD, so that was in 2004.

Mentor Mama:

Wow, that is so cool, how God wanted you right there, and you’re still there!

Matt Thornton:

Yeah.

Mentor Mama:

Was the job what you expected it was going to be?

Matt Thornton:

Oh, absolutely not! To me, it was just a pay raise. I mean, it was a cool job, it was better than working in this plant that I was at, so I had no clue about the toll that it would take on my personal life, my family life, my emotional life, because I’d never looked into it. Being a cop, and you police in the city that you grew up, it was difficult, because first of all the friends that I grew up with and the family that I was around my entire life, a lot of them they were into criminal activity, a lot of gang members, and a lot of them didn’t want to be a part of my friendship anymore, and those are the people that I like and I genuinely love. They took care of me growing up, so I lost a lot of them. Then when I got hired as an officer, the PD, the other officers, they had known some of the activities that I had been around and they didn’t even want me there. Some of them were pretty brutal to me, so I was kind of stuck. I was lost and it took a heavy emotional toll right away and then you couple that, all the calls you go to, Zion is a very, very busy city, you see carnage on a daily basis there. I see friends that I’ve known for decades that I’ve had to arrest, I’ve seen them die in front of me, so it really took a mental toll right away and I didn’t expect that. When you deal with all of that, and you don’t have any foundation, I didn’t know the Lord, you deal with it how you deal with it, and my way of dealing with it was alcohol, compartmentalizing, and just pushing through. I’m tough, I’m not weak, I can handle this, and being macho, and it really takes a toll on you mentally.

Mentor Mama:

So you really weren’t mentally prepared for how that was going to impact your emotional health?

Matt Thornton:

No, not at all, and it’s huge because nobody really talked about this. There’s a big movement in talking about it recently, about how mental health issues and depression and a manic sadness comes. It’s huge in our profession. I mean, the suicide rate amongst cops is really, really high, and it’s something that’s been taboo to talk about. We’ve recently been pushed for it, but yes, I was not prepared. And, when you’re in life and you’re sad and depressed, you have no one to turn to, because you don’t have the Lord, it’s a recipe for absolute disaster.

Mentor Mama:

So you were dealing with your stress, the way that you just described, how was it then that you actually met the Lord?

Matt Thornton:

Well, I had come up with a pretty direct plan to end my own life because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I destroyed my marriage, I hurt my kids so bad just from my self-destructive behavior with a badge and it’s a crazy story because everything was all laid out. The plan to end my own life, it was all written down. I wrote a suicide letter and it was full of really, really direct details. I remember that. It was detailed enough to where the songs I wanted to play, the apologies that I left for my family and my kids and I was ready to roll. I had it all laid out and so, I went to work one night and it was the most craziest story because I’m on midnight shift and it’s during the dead of winter. The winter of 2013, and there was nobody out. It had to have been 10 to 20 below, the wind was just howling off the lake and it was just a dead night in the city. And so, I went and I’m dwelling on this plan because when you’re determined that this is going to happen, you almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m going to be out of this pain, and so, I’m going over this plan in my head, and when you’re in that frame of mind, you just cry when you’re alone. It’s hard to describe, but you really just have nothing but your thoughts and your sadness. I remember I’m just sitting in there in my squad car going over this plan and I’m crying to myself and I’m just watching the tears hit my pant legs, it’s very vivid to me, like you could just see the pools getting bigger and bigger as every tear hit my pant leg because I was leaning forward. Then, out of the corner of my eyes, I see this lady walk out of Walmart, and I’m like, why are you walking out in this weather? What are you doing out here in this parking lot? She walks to a car and it’s far away, it’s like 50 to 75 yards away. She goes to her car, she leans in, she grabs something out of the car and then she starts walking right towards me and I instantly get upset. I don’t want to be bothered right here. I’m in these talks and I’m going over this plan and, sure enough, she makes a bee-line right towards my squad and I got to wipe away my tears and I didn’t want to roll the window down at all because it was so cold out, so I rolled it down just a little bit, a few inches, and she handed me something through the window and I was confused. I’m like, what is this? So I reach up and I grab it and she just said, “you need this,” and she just turned around and walked away and didn’t say another word and I was stunned. I look what it is in my hand and it a little red cross and it actually took me quite a long time to even tell this story because I thought people would think I was like crazy. I just knew like, here I am at the lowest point I’ve ever been and this happens in the middle of this winter night. I knew that was God. I knew that was God and I literally clutched that cross and I just screamed. I’m like in my squad car, screaming out like, God, I know this is you and you have to save me. I get emotional when I say this story because it was just so surreal. I literally felt the presence of the Lord right then and there in that squad and I heard, to this day, I don’t know, was it audibly? Was it in my head? I really couldn’t tell you, but Jesus spoke to me and what I got out of it, he said that he seen everything I’ve done, because I was so far wretched in my sin, he said, “I forgive you,” and then he just said, “stop what you’re doing and follow me.” I knew my sister worked at a church, I’d never attended or anything like that. So for the first time in my life, I actually got on the phone with her and I said, “I know there’s a pastor in there somewhere and I need to get in and talk to him.” And, the next day that’s when I went in there and he said the most bizarre thing I’d ever heard, I had no clue who he was, his name was Pastor George, and I’m thinking, I’m just going in there, I’m going to ask him questions about God, but he looked right at me and he said, “I know who you are and I know all about you.” He said, “your sister’s been crying and crying and asking us to pray for you and we as a group have been praying for a supernatural occurrence to come into your life.” I was just blown away. I said, “well, I think you got it,” and then we just sat down and I gave my life to the Lord. We wept and he kind of became my mentor and I just followed him around wherever he went. That’s how everything turned in my life in 2013. When you meet the Lord, it’s like, I’ve equated it to getting hit by a train or a Mack truck, you don’t walk out of there the same — ever. You’re never the same ever again. Everyone has a different story. My salvation story is not any more important than anybody else, but the key to every story is you come out of it a new creation just like Second Corinthians says, like that was when I became justified. I became a brand new creation from that day forward and I didn’t tell this story for like a year because I didn’t really know how to articulate it because I was notorious for my hedonism and my debauchery in my life that I didn’t think people would believe me, so I just kind of kept quiet about what happened and I just dove into Scripture and I wanted to learn like, who is this that showed up in my squad. This wasn’t just some new leaf being turned, this was so real that I need to, I want to hear that voice and walk with that voice. Where does that voice come from? Why did God show up then? Why does God care about me? So I had every question, and I’m an investigator by nature, so I am a question-asker, if that’s even a phrase! One of the first verses I ever learned was in Timothy that all Scriptures are God-breathed, so that’s the bottom line to even understanding the Bible was you have to recognize that this is God’s Word. This is all truth and it’s here for you to get to know it. The more you get to know it, the more you fall in love with Jesus, the more you question like, how could he even love me? Why me? His love and grace is so awesome, it’s mind blowing.

Mentor Mama:

It is. Your story is just such an amazing and powerful testimony of the power of prayer and just how your sister and the church members were praying for you, it just gives me goosebumps hearing about that and just how God lifted the scales from your eyes in that moment.

Matt Thornton:

There’s so many different analogies I always like to use, like he raised a dead man. He made the blind see. I see the world through different eyes. Your heart of stone turns to the heart of flesh. I mean, there’s so many different, beautiful analogies in the Bible that I love to use, and it’s all the same for all of us who found the Lord.

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Mentor Mama:

You know, one thing that I was so excited to hear about you is just, you know, our mission here at Coffee and Bible Time is to help people, inspire people, to delight in God’s Word, and it’s just neat for me to hear and listen to, have you even opened or studied the Bible before any of this happened?

Matt Thornton:

When I was a kid, my grandmother taught us about Jesus. I don’t remember ever really looking at the Bible. Maybe I remember reading about Jesus’ crucifixion in one of the Gospels, but I never had been interested. I’d ask a lot of questions, almost like a history book, to a few friends that I had known, but I’d never studied and opened it and realized what it was, but it’s crazy how it is The Living Word, because the things that I did learn as a youngster, I remembered it all. It is living and it’s in there and it comes out and I remembered so much from when I was younger. It doesn’t go away. It’s such a powerful, Living Word.

Mentor Mama:

That’s just such great encouragement for any parent who might be listening that maybe you did pour into your kids when they were young, but they’ve gone wayward. I’ve never really thought of it like you just said, but that that gives a lot of people hope. How do you serve Christ now, since you’ve become a Christian? How do you serve him while enforcing the law?

Matt Thornton:

So you have to walk different and that was the tricky part at first, because you want to tell everybody about this, but anybody can say anything, so living it out was just the way that I did. I remember I used to pray this all the time when I first met the Lord, like, Lord, help me see the world like you see it, help me see the world like you see it, and it would just be about living it and loving. The number one thing, is just to obviously, love God and love one another, and I just felt that I should just live that out on the street and amongst my coworkers, because I had still been battling with some unforgiveness issues and still do to this day, I can’t even lie. I struggle with how bad I was treated when I started, but I just wanted to show everyone grace and just live it out on a daily basis, walk softly and just love people in my heart. For some reason, when the Lord fills you and you’re full of the Spirit, you just have this heart for people that is beyond human understanding. From the worst addict to the most important, seemingly most important, people in the city you just love and I felt that there’s no better way than just loving people and leaving a lasting impression on them. Even if it’s a ten second encounter, just love people and they’ll notice. My story has spread around as to why I act this way and that was kind of how I just walked with the uniform, obviously there’s the church and state thing where you can’t sit there and preach out of Romans to people you’d stop on the streets, but it’s simple; you just love people. They’ll figure out where it’s coming from, and it’s not what we’re doing anyway, the Lord’s doing all the work, so just do what you’re called to. What I did was, about a year later is when I started, accidentally kind of started, My Father’s Business.

Mentor Mama:

Yes, so tell us about that.

Matt Thornton:

One of the things I battled with was the badge, because I hated being an officer. I hated my badge. I resented it because I just remember thinking, what happened to that normal Matt who used to drive the forklift? Now I’m this mess with all this, ego and the power that went into the badge and everything that encompassed the job. I was like, how do I use this badge that I resent to glorify God? And, Pastor George came up with this idea and he was on my back about it for a long time. He’s like, man, everyone in the city knows you because you’re an officer, why don’t you start like a little youth group or something? My son was a freshman at the time in high school, and I was like, Pastor, I don’t know how to do any of this stuff. I don’t know how to answer these kids’ questions. I don’t want to do this. I didn’t want to do it. So it was several months that he was on my back. Are you going to start, you going to start Friday nights when the gym’s wide open? You going to start? I finally did it one night, it had to have been 2014 or the end of 2014, and it started with my son and his buddies. They liked to play basketball and there’s an old gym at the church, so I said bring some of your friends, I got to get Pastor off my back and I’ll order a couple of pizzas and I’ll read you a Scripture and we’ll that it’s to appease him. So we started with six kids and it went well, I remember spending $10 on the two pizzas, that’s all I did was a Little Caesar’s, and we had an okay night. So Pastor was like, okay, you’re going to do it again. So I did it again, and this time we had like 10 kids and we were able to play full-court basketball, and we did, kind of, the same pattern. Then I remember the third week, I didn’t want to do it anymore because I was so busy at work and it was just a lot, and Pastor was like, no, no. Then he reminded me like, we’re called to serve. This is perfect for you. You’ve had kids show up, so, no. I asked him to do it for me for the third week, and he’s like, nope. Pastor was awesome when I see his plan. So, I saw it through, I stuck it through because I love Pastor George, and I didn’t want to hear the backlash if I backed out. And so, pretty soon, 10 kids turned to 15, 15 turned to 20, 20 turned to 40, and word spread around Zion that you can come to this church and play ball and eat food, and there’s this cop that runs it. So we just turned it into a thing. I quickly learned that these kids, they were looking at me a way that I didn’t expect, they weren’t looking at me as a cop. They were looking at me like a big brother and they were so fascinated. So I would break it down, we call it halftime now, I would just explain something that I learned because I was still the young Christian learning things from the Scriptures, so I would break down what I learned and I would just tell them about it. It was basically just talking out loud, my own lessons for the week and they would come with some of the most interesting questions, and I felt like, okay, I’m the leader, I have to dive even deeper in the Scriptures to be able to answer all of these questions. And so it really, just kind of, stepped my game up even more, as far as accountability and knowing the Word. Pretty soon, we had so many kids in there that we needed a team. We had to end up getting our own paperwork and then let’s turn this into a full-blown outreach, ministry, whatever you want to call it and so, I heard a song that had the words of my father’s business in the chorus. A lot of people thought I was weird like, why are you inviting all these kids as a cop? You go after work in uniform and you’re here talking about the Lord, they kind of thought it was just bizarre. And so like, I really don’t care what the world thinks, I’m just about my Father’s business. So kind of what Jesus said in Luke. So, it kind of stuck, so that turned into MFB, and my sister came up with a logo in like 10 seconds, and then it just blew up. Now those logos are all over the city, the kids are everywhere, everyone knows about us. Over the years, there’s been thousands of kids come in and out and we just open the door to anybody, we don’t care. Some weeks, 15 show up, some weeks a hundred show up, but we do the same thing. We love, we try to get a personal relationship with every kid that walks in the door. I have a big enough team to do that now. We teach them straight out of Scripture. The crowd has shifted over the years, now it’s a lot of your street kids, your gang members, your rugged kids come in, it’s almost like a safe spot for them to be on a Friday night. Some of the miracles that we’ve seen in there, we’ve baptized many, many kids have come to know the Lord, we have special speakers that come in; ex-gang members, other youth pastors, military people, military recruiters that have come in there, ball players, ex-fighters. They just want to pour into our kids. They see the need and yeah, over the years we’ve endured so many beautiful stories. So, there’s the hardships that go with it, so it’s very stressful and the heartbreak comes with it, but that’s the world. There’s a huge need in Zion, especially Zion, it’s a pretty violent city. We started keeping stats in 2017 of kids that been shot, we’ve had close to 40 of our kids been shot. We’ve had to bury, I think the numbers up to 13, that have passed away, and so the heartbreak is there, but that just reminds me of how desperate every single half-time is, because this may be the last time that you see this young person. I want to just call it, there’s a word for it, just what’s at stake and it just reminds me all the time, okay, you may not see this person and give them the Lord, give them the truth. And my kids know; they know life and death. So you don’t have to pull back, you don’t have to hold back, you don’t have to water it down, you tell them, and that’s one of my main messages every week is, my story is not something that is to be messed around with. I remind them if I wouldn’t have found the Lord and I would’ve carried through my plan where I would be. This death is eternal death and the Lord came to save you from that. I always tell them what everyone says, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves, what is he saving you from? And, I explain that to them and what we all deserve. We don’t deserve his Grace. I take it right out of Romans all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. We’re all sinners. I explained that the Gospels in a nutshell to them on a weekly basis and many, many have more questions and Christ said, for those who have ears, they’re going to hear. So a lot of them will come, they’ll hit me up after half-time or during the week and we just walk with them and the ones that give their lives to the Lord, we just are arm-in-arm, let’s do this together. So, it’s a really cool recipe.

Mentor Mama:

I can see how just surrendering your own life to Christ and how God has just used that to now transform so many lives, it’s just the power of his multiplication and using people. I can relate in some ways, just that you wonder like, oh God, how can you use me? When you’ve gone through trials in your life and you don’t feel worthy and this is just, again, a powerful testimony of how God doesn’t want us to carry around shame and condemnation. In fact, he turns that completely upside down and now he’s using you to help bring glory to His Kingdom. It’s just so beautiful.

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Mentor Mama:

I know one of the things that you’re doing is trying to reach the lost. What do you think needs to improve within the body of Christ so that we all can do that more effectively?

Matt Thornton:

That was actually the reason I contacted you. I saw that your daughter had done a short clip on your YouTube channel talking about what the church can do different, and the church is not a building. The church is: we go out to where the people are, so I was like, oh my gosh, they get it. That was music to my ears because we have to bring the message to them, these young men, these young people that I go after, they’re not going to walk into a church on Sunday. It’s just not going to happen, so we bring it to them. We offer them, okay, come in here on a certain day or we’ll go out. We have to bring the message outside and get uncomfortable. I always say that–we didn’t get in this to be comfortable. I think a lot of the thinking that people have is, kind of, self-serving. Okay, I’m saved, the Lord has got me, I have him, and we just sit there, but that’s not what we’re called to do. My mom, she used to torture me with Keith Green growing up, she always listened to Keith Green music, and I didn’t like it, as a kid, that’s not what I was into — terrible music, but I would remember every word that he said and that’s the key, he’s got a song called, “Asleep in the Light,” and it is really what drives me. He was speaking directly to the church. Do you see all the people sinking down? Don’t you care? Are you going to let him drown? He’s, kind of like, challenging them to, let’s go out and let’s spread this (message), let’s not just sit here and what he’s saying, don’t sleep in the light, move around, go talk to people. We have a calling to take our message to whoever will hear it and if they don’t come then go to them; that’s my philosophy. You have to live your faith out loud and you have to be known. I always say, what are you known as? I’m not known as a cop anymore. I don’t want to be known as a cop. I want to be known as that peculiar, I say peculiar because we’re peculiar people, to be that set aside, that doesn’t live like every other person that will tell you the first thing that he is about is he is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Make sure you’re known as that, people will notice.

Mentor Mama:

Oh yes, they will undoubtedly notice, that’s for sure. I think the other thing in addition to that too, is just being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and being willing to obey because sometimes we do know the Spirit is prompting us, but we’re like, oh no, really? Do I have to? I was just reading a passage in Ezekiel this morning, just about how God was instructing them to obey him and then God will take care of the rest. So, we need to be obedient and I love how you’ve just done that over and over and over again. So who inspires you, Matt? Besides Jesus?

Matt Thornton:

Let’s see, my biggest inspiration, Pastor George has got to be one of them. He just can tell anybody, anytime, anyplace about the Lord, and he’s one of them that he doesn’t pull punches. I really absolutely love the way that he walks and talks and it’s not always comfortable, because the Gospel is not a comfortable thing to the lost. I squirmed like crazy when I heart that, I didn’t want to hear that. So I understand my boys at the youth group, I can imagine a spiritual battle going on in their heads. They don’t want to hear this, but you say it anyway, it’s not you doing the work. So, Pastor George was huge on that. He has since moved away as of a couple years ago, but he was one of my biggest inspirations. And then, like I said, now that I realize how brilliant of a songwriter Keith Green actually was; I love that guy. I absolutely love his lyrics and his uncompromising message. Those are probably top two in my book.

Mentor Mama:

Tell us about your book. What made you decide to write a book?

Matt Thornton:

I have been told so many times, you should write this story. You should write this story down, and I finally did. I barely passed high school, so it was hard for me at first, but I learned there’s a lot of technology that’s come along, so you can even talk a book out and (a program will) write it for you. So it took a long time. I could never write or work on the book unless I really had a certain frame of mind. I had to feel like the Lord was saying these words and this is the right stuff to say. I had made an agreement with my top soldier that I ever had, was Tyree in my MFB crew, and we had planned on he was going to write his story as well because he’s got a very interesting, heartbreaking story. He passed away in 2019, he was like a combination of my adopted son and my best friend. He was so close to me, so the books actually dedicated to him and we promised each other we were going to work on our books together. He got the first three chapters of his done and I was working on mine. So, when that happened in 2019, is when I was like, this has to be complete, this was a promise to him. I started just writing things down with different thoughts, different memories and, low and behold, during all this, I had no idea how to write a book or how to publish or anything like that; this is all God. I had Nicole from, 21st street, Urban Editing, she just contacted me because she heard about my story and she just happened to say, “hey, did you ever think about writing a book?” And I was like, oh my gosh, that did not just happen. I was like, well, as a matter of fact, I have been writing a book and she said, “okay, I’ll be your publisher, your editor, I’ll walk you through the steps.” So, that was about two years ago that she contacted me and last week it finally came out.

Mentor Mama:

That’s so exciting! I’m so happy for you and I just will be praying that your book really gets into the hands of the people that God wants to powerfully work in their life. Congratulations!

Matt Thornton:

Thank you so much. The book is basically this podcast in written form. Everything that we talked about is where the book goes, just the story of where I was and where I’m at and what Christ can do. And it’s an encouragement for anyone that’s hurting because I believe that if you look in Scripture, you’ll see. Growing up as a kid without really diving into Scripture, you kind of see that the people that are in the Bible as these superhero types, but they struggle just like us. Read The Psalms, read how David was up here, down here, up here. I think he had depression, Paul so mad at himself for doing the things he didn’t want to do and not doing the things he knew he had to do. He struggled just like us. I think that Scripture is beautifully designed to show us that, okay, we can’t do this alone. We were made to glorify and walk with the Lord. That’s why we were made. So, it covers a lot of that in my book.

Mentor Mama:

The book is so great because obviously, you can’t be everywhere, but for someone who’s reading this, you know, Matt’s book might be a great resource that you could give to someone that you feel could really relate to his story and would be an encouragement. So Matt, tell us how can people find out more information about you and your book?

Matt Thornton:

We have a website, it is MFByouth.org, and the book we just got the Amazon link up yesterday. You can easily order it now. I can’t believe I’m on Amazon, that was kind of mind blowing when the publishers sent it. I wanted to show you, we got the coolest cover right here. It’s my publisher’s design, it was kind of her imagery, so they had me pose and do this cover that kind of stands out, because I don’t look like your average cop. I think tattoos were my therapy when I was going through things, so I have a lot of ink and it kind of stands out. She goes, well, just show them who you are! So, the book is on Amazon, you can go to our website. We’re huge on TikTok, Facebook. If you look up Zion Officer, Matt Thornton, it pops up. We’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to tell my story to a nice wide audience, and I give all the glory to God. I mean, this is all his work, I just feel lucky to be a vessel and I’m honored and I feel like the luckiest dude on Earth, to be honest with you. I get to actually speak about what he did to a huge audience, and I get to talk about him in front of people every single week and every day now. I love it; I’ve lived a great life.

Mentor Mama:

Thanks you for all you’re doing and continue to do. We will definitely have a link in the blog so that any of you who are reading can absolutely click on the link. Another God thing in this story too, is the fact that, for our listeners, it’s really crazy because I first met Matt at our CrossFit gym, and even at the time that I met you, I didn’t know your story or anything. How this all came about is God at work, for sure. I’m so glad that connection was made. Matt, before we go, I just want to ask you some of our favorite Bible study tool questions. Our readers love to hear what other people are doing. What Bible do you use and which translation is it?

Matt Thornton:

I use the NIV. My mom bought me one. She put a note in it that when I got saved, she was so happy, she put “January, 2013, Eternal Words,” is what she wrote, “from your mother,” so I still have the same one.

Mentor Mama:

That’s awesome! Do you have any favorite journaling supplies or anything that you like to use to enhance your Bible study?

Matt Thornton:

I take notes on my phone, is what I do. My notes page is so full and I just hit different points. I had a reading disability when I was in school, and so, YouTube clips explaining Scripture along with notes and questions that I have is the key for me. I think some people, a lot of people, that are good readers can just can just highlight something and go back to it, but for me, I take notes and I write a little, personal mental note and then I just dive into it. It’s almost like a clue that you write down when you’re investigating a crime, if you see that and then you go back, that’s kind of how I operate in my mind.

Mentor Mama:

That’s a great tip. Last one, what is your favorite app or website for Bible study tools?

Matt Thornton:

My favorite app is called gotquestions.org. I’ve used that pretty much since I first discovered iPhones years ago, because it literally just answers your questions. You can type in any question about anything in Scripture, and it’s there. I’ve studied the validity and it’s right. It’s got some really good theologians on it and I’ve found nothing but truths in there, and I’ve even questioned, you always got to try to discern and question, you have to because this is God’s Word and it has to be correct and translated correctly, so I’ve even researched that and I’ve found it’s pretty good. Gotquestions.org, I tell my kids that all the time, if you have a question about anything you just type it in. That’s my favorite one.

Mentor Mama:

That’s a great resource. Matt, thank you so much for being here today to share your amazing testimony, and also, about your outreach that you’re doing for the youth of Illinois. I just pray that God will continue to bless you, and your book, and your ministry. Thank you so much for being here.

Matt Thornton:

Thank you so much. I’m honored. You guys are awesome.

Mentor Mama:

For our readers, pick up a copy of Matt’s book, “Cop in Crisis to Cop in Christ,” you can find the link in the blog, and please share your comments on this podcast. Lastly, head over to the Coffee and Bible Time website for our prayer journals that will help guide and document your prayer life at coffeeandbibletime.com. Thank you for joining us today on our podcast. We love you all. Have a blessed day.

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