How do you define success? Is it found in trophies and championships? Is it in completing advanced degrees? Are you successful when people know of you before they’ve met you? Today’s guest has experienced all of that, and then some. He also knows that sometimes being at the top puts a bullseye on your back. Dr. Nathanial Hearne has found success as a coach, a mentor, an administrator, a pastor, and most recently, as a chaplain in a Texas prison. Before any of those roles, he is a husband, father of five, and grandfather of three. He’s sharing with us today the success that comes when we walk in the purpose and call that God places on our lives.
Chaplain Hearne grew up in poverty in the small West Texas town of Andrews. He was the middle of eight children, and as such, was clothed in hand-me-downs and taunted by classmates and teachers alike.He struggled with his place, and never felt like he fit in at school. By the end of sixth grade, it seemed so hopeless that he wanted to quit. He shares about his first encounters in junior high with two very influential men – men who would encourage him and speak life into him as a young man. They believed in him and told him as much. His stories of Mr. Haak and Coach Wallace serve as encouragement for anyone doubting that they are making an impact. That day, at the age of twelve, he received affirmation from two teachers in one day – something that had never happened to him in all of his days as a student. Mr. Haak and Coach Wallace not only changed his life, but saved it.
Before he was “Chaplain Hearne”, he was “Coach Hearne” – a member of the coaching staff for the famed Permian High School Panthers football team. Theirs was a winning program, named national champions and even “Team of the Decade”. But just a few years in, Coach Hearne became involved in a legal battle over alleged UIL violations. As part of a winning program, experiencing success, all kinds of amenities come along with it. Everyone knows “the Mojo”. He’d begun to feel a bit of invincibility. Nevertheless, he found himself before the state executive committee who would determine the punishment for allegedly breaking recruiting rules. Sitting in that hotel ballroom in Austin, facing suspensions and probation, he asked God, “How did I get here?” There, God told him, “You forgot about Me.” In that moment, it came flooding back to him – all the things he’d stopped doing, like going to church, praying, and reading his bible. Things he knew to do and had done before, but had left behind as he put all of his time and energy into being a great, successful coach. As he waited to hear the committee’s decision, he determined that he would give his life over to God. The punishment was handed down, he returned to Permian, and God continued to show him favor. Nate became a school administrator and found success as a principal. God was true to His word, and so Nate was true to his – he enrolled in seminary at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, and never looked back.
No matter our profession, we all leave a legacy. We just have to decide if it’s going to be a positive one or a negative one. The world defines legacy as those monetary things we leave behind. But as followers of Christ, our legacies should be about bearing fruit that will last – it is our character, how we love others, how we serve others. If we are people of integrity, then we are living and walking out our legacies daily – even when no one is watching. It is empowering others to do great things without us.
Dr. Hearne’s word of encouragement for anyone in the midst of a difficult season comes from Paul in the book of Romans: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The world will challenge you through the things that affect you the most – those mental things. Don’t conform to the things of this world.
Jake Enriquez: 00:00 Uh, good morning Chaplain Hearne how are you doing this morning man? [Great] Thank you so much for coming to join us today. Um, you know, I know everybody likes to get to know one another out here on a personal basis. So I’ll just ask you to introduce yourself, who you are and where you’re from.
Chaplain Hearne: 00:18 My name’s Nathanial Hearne. Originally from West Texas; been in Arlington, Texas for the past 20 years. My wife and I, we have five children, three grandchildren and…both former educators, 30, 34 years. My wife, 39 years in education.
Jake Enriquez: 00:38 Education…long time doing that. All right, great. So I know that, uh, today though you are a chaplain down at the old Boyd unit, is that right? That’s right. Okay. So how’d you go from education? I got to ask how’d you go from education and all that good stuff to go on all the way down the Boyd Unit over in Teague, Texas?
Chaplain Hearne: 00:55 Great question. One of the things that I’ve done in my career is that I became bi-vocational. I also graduated from seminary at SMU and I’m in my time as a minister for 15, 16 years of serving in the church and schools at the same time I would do prison ministry, go to the largest maximum security prison in the state of Texas – Coffield, and that’s how I got started, I did ex gang members for five years and the regional chaplain would come through there and he would talk to him and he asked me for that ever be interested in doing prison ministry as a chaplain. And I said, well, I don’t have an aversion to it. And when I retired he contacted me again and said he had two openings and he asked me what I applied and that’s how it all started.
Jake Enriquez: 01:53 That’s how it all started. Uh, and that’s all she wrote. So tell me a little bit about now, because I believe that there may be a misconception of really what all it takes to be chaplain or in the ministry in prison. Of course, you know, people believe what they believe about a prison as well. But what does it mean? What, what, what all is involved in Chaplaincy at the Boyd unit or not even just the Boyd unit, but as a chaplain because all, you have to be open to different beliefs and people have different religions. Um, they’re coming from different walks of life. So what’s it like to be in the midst of that right there?
Chaplain Hearne: 02:36 At all times in chaplain ministry, you, I put it this way, give an analogy. You have your, your, your, your, your straddle the line, walk a line, have you got one left foot in authoritative, disciplinary mode and then you have your right foot in grace and forgiveness and unconditional love and somehow you’ve got to mesh those two together. But one of the things that I do more than anything else, I kind of lean to the right because those men need that grace. They need that, that forgiveness, they need that unconditional love because some of them have never experienced that before. They know the authoritative side to know the discipline side and they get that quite a bit. You still have to be fair with them. You still have to discipline. But I spend more my time with the unconditional love and forgiveness part because I meet so many men who never heard that before. They don’t know what love is. They don’t know what forgiveness is.
Jake Enriquez: 03:37 Right. So they’re so used to that other part, which is the authoritative side. And I’m like. So the reigning and ruling? Yes. Alright. Yes sir. Absolutely. So in, in your time, how, how long have you been over there? Two years. Two years. Okay. Um, let me ask this question in, in your time there, two years, what’s been the most surprising thing to you?
Chaplain Hearne: 03:59 Well, I think the most surprising thing is how loving they can be. Okay. I’ve, I’ve got, uh, some of these guys are. I’ve got one guy who’s, he’s 93 years old. Wow, okay. And uh, he tells me every time he sees me, he comes up to me, he hugs me, he puts his head on my shoulder and he tells me he loves me and I get across, I get them at 20 and 93. And I get that a lot. Uh, because a lot of them will say to me, you’re the father I never had. No one has ever told me, no matter what I, what I’ve done, they’re going to love me unconditionally. And every time you get up, you talk to us, you always end by saying I love you. And I do. Yeah, I do. Absolutely. And, and they reciprocate. And that’s kind of surprising the things that they say and the genuineness if they have in their hearts when they come up to me and hug me and say, I love you Chap.
Jake Enriquez: 05:04 Man, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. For thus Sayeth the Lord. I love you. I love you. That’s, that’s the words right there and a man. That’s awesome. I greatly appreciate that. And I guess, you know what, for me, I guess that’s the most surprising thing as well for me is that, that you’re talking about, but not only that, because I’ve always had before I ever went to prison and prison ministry always thought had different type of what’s this going to be like that, what’s it going to be down there like down there, you know? And as everyone so hardened at heart, but now it’s not that way. As a matter of fact, before we really even go any further, I know that we have, I’m going to talk about this, uh, that we’re what we’re doing down at the Boyd unit. Okay. And we’re, we’re looking to fill the need.
Jake Enriquez: 05:52 So this is for all the listeners out here, my brothers and sisters who are believers who love to give by the way. Um, here’s the thing where there’s a need. There are a number of men on the board unit in need of just hygiene supplies. So we’re talking about some basic fundamental stuff that probably you and I out here, maybe we take, we take it for granted as something we can go easily get. But a lot of these guys don’t have any family or means of obtaining these things. So, uh, so what we’re looking for by the way, is for guys and gals out here, listeners who may want to contribute towards that. Hey, this is a, this is the time I would say this, that you know, a lot of times people I’ve run into people all the time, they say, well, you know, I, I want to be in the ministry.
Jake Enriquez: 06:37 I want to do something and maybe they don’t go and serve in prison ministry. They’re always kind of curious about it. Well, here’s a great time for you to be able to serve. I will give that. We’re going to give this opportunity right now. It’s a, it’s a real easy thing to do if in fact you’re able to give and what it is, it takes a, I believe it’s $108 is that right Chap. Okay. And what it does is it takes care of just like again, basic supplies in it and it’s the cost per family to support 24 men on the unit would be $108. So you can request the items to be shipped to a dollar tree store in my area. I’ll tell you what, I’m going to have this whole document a on the show notes. So what we do is that they would go to the dollar tree, you can do it online, is that right?
Jake Enriquez: 07:26 So you can do it online at dollar tree and make that contribution. And then chaplain Hearne right here, he’s the one to go pick it up and makes sure it gets into the hands of those in need. So this is an opportunity to give man, you know, we’re told, sow a seed into the ministry as such, because I know this is a fertile ground by the way I’ve been down there. This is a great place that you would be able to sow a seed into the lives and the hearts of many of those who are coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ and no greater way to do it than by his love. By the way he tells us he commands us to love one another, right? That combined, he gives us. So I’m, I’m just going to put that on the show notes by the way.
Jake Enriquez: 08:06 It’s going to be on the pressandreach.com website. All you gotta do is go to the show notes, pressandreach.com forward slash pr 64 and you’ll be able to find that at the bottom. But I wanted to get that in before we sailed off. So, uh, so absolutely men and I’m praying and hoping that people would come in and contribute to that. So down there you, you’re, you’re meeting guys and you get to see your surprise behind the love of men, period. But um, what are some of the things may have been discouraging to you along the way? What would you say would be some of those things? Hey, because you know what, we all walk on some things and maybe we have some expectations along the way and then somewhere along the way it can discourage a. So what do you see down there that may be discouraging at times to you?
Chaplain Hearne: 08:52 The thing that I get this bothers me is that when I’m trying to help and I get those who are manipulative, okay, They come in with an agenda. Yes sir. And I’ve shown my sides and I’m willing to help you in every capacity. But I get so discouraged when I find out later that you, you’ve lied to me and I can’t do anything with that. And so I’m, I’m, I’m working the large working with me on that, trying to get me past that. But I really, really get impatience. Shirts that come on. Yeah, I do because I’m on my heart. Is that I want to help you, but I can’t help you if you’re lying to me. Yes sir. Absolutely.
Jake Enriquez: 09:37 And that’s a discouraging thing anywhere. Chap, by the way, the ministry, man, we were talking about it earlier, by the way, for those of you who a desire and choose to be in the ministry, do know this, what you truly sign up for is a broken heart. And that’s okay. It’s all good. Broken bread and poured out wine will be it. So, uh, but yes, the Lord always helps us with those things. So I, I, you know, but here’s the thing, I know that you’re not. This is nothing new to you. It’s not, it’s not new to you. And uh, you know, the podcast is all about walking out our faith. And I want to take us back now if we can to childhood with you. So let me, let me just ask you this, because I know that things always stem from our youth and coming up, I believe wholeheartedly that God continues to unfold our purpose as we continue to walk our lives. Now. So tell me a little bit about where you grew up Chaplain
Chaplain Hearne: 10:32 I grew up in west Texas, small West Texas town, Andrews, Texas. I grew up in poverty. I’m the Middle Child of eight siblings. It would have been nine. My youngest brother died two weeks after birth. Um, my, uh, father, um, he worked at a humble, full service station the majority of his life. He wash windows, changed flats, wash cars, pump gas, uh, the majority of his life. My mother, she cleaned houses and until the day that she died, um, she didn’t have to because she had eight children who had gone to get degrees and we had education we could avoid, but she was a servant as she continued to serve. And uh, she was the spiritual backbone of every single one of us. And uh, just had a love for her. We spent many days, we didn’t know if we were going to be in the same house when I came home from school or if we’re going to be evicted. I went to school with holes in my shoes, holes in my clothes. My mom would line us up and she would give us a dry meat and bread, Bologna Sandwich and Brown paper sack two cents for a carton of milk, it was difficult. Me, you know, being a middle child, Jake, you know, you, you, you, you mentally imbalanced anyway. And my mom should have put Prozac and my milk because it was so tough for me. I go on to school with those holes in my clothes carrying a Bologna Sandwich. I just didn’t fit in. I didn’t feel good about school. And uh, when I left sixth grade, I told my mom I was never going to go back to school. Yeah,
Jake Enriquez: 12:20 never going to go back to school. Did you go back to. I went back and I’m going to get beat down over there. So, you know, like I said, these tough things, nothing new to you. Uh, I did by the way, and I’ll make mention of a, it’s a Friday night lights, untold stories from behind the lights. And uh, I would encourage our listeners today, man, make sure you get that book and you’ll read more of the stories that chaplain Hearne is talking about. But, but I, uh, I, I think about some of those things you try them out so it’s not easy to talk about. Uh, those hard times. It man, listen, uh, we’ll put you on the spot for a minute, but I don’t mean to. But the Bologna Sandwich man, Sir one that got me in the book, man. I said I got to put this down for a minute. When they pointed out the Bologna Sandwich made, come on, Chap. I mean, I know it was hard. But tell the story about the sandwich.
Chaplain Hearne: 13:21 Brother Jake is describing an incident that happened to me when I was in elementary school and every day my mom would give us those dry meat and bread Bologna sandwiches and during the summer, back in the fifties and the sixties, there were no act air conditioners in the classroom. And we were given lockers and when those lockers got hot in that classroom, we would eat that Bologna sandwich up. And so my classmate that sit behind me near my locker, she raised her hand one day and told the teacher that that was something that stunk in that locker. And so the teacher says, Oh, who does that locker belonged to? Slowly raise my hand. And uh, she said, uh, whatever it is, take it out. So I took it out my, he was my lunch and I brought it up and she said, what is it?
Chaplain Hearne: 14:16 And I said, it’s my lunch. She said, throw it in the trash. And uh, so I take it outside. And I knew that if, if I did know, there was no such thing. Back in those days, it’s free and reduced lunch. I knew that if I didn’t eat that, that there was a possibility that I wouldn’t eat that whole day because I wasn’t sure if we were going to eat. When I got home it was nip and Tuck. So I went outside and, you know, being young and that school, uh, I uh, it and came back and she said, what did you do with it? And I probably had crumbs around my mouth but she said I ate it and she sent me to the principal’s office and the principal didn’t ask any questions while I was down there. I got three licks for eating my lunch.
Jake Enriquez: 15:12 Okay. You know, I, I think about that right there, you know…I’m let you know right now, Chap – I would’ve ate it too. Listen, I probably would have ate it in class before I left. [in front of her] Man, please! I was a bad little kid, but man I’m not going without my lunch. But you know what I think about the embarrassment, humility or humiliation, as you say, put on, put on us in a time like that which you, you kept grinding on man. And, and, and I know at one time for you in school, you saw what was the sense in it, nothing’s going to get better…until you met two people. And so, uh, I believe that was junior high, is that right? So tell me about those two guys real quick because this is, this is, by the way, for those who believe they’re not making an impact, I want you to hear these stories about men who speak into the lives of others. So go ahead, Chap, tell us about the two guys that you met. Then, matter of fact, by the way, your words, they changed your life.
Chaplain Hearne: 16:15 Yeah. Not only changed it, they saved my life. Yes. Uh, the, uh, I, when I found out that I wasn’t going to be able to stay out of school my first day, I’m, I’m headed to junior high school and nothing has changed for me – I still have the holes in my clothes. I was in my shoes, carrying the Bologna Sandwich. And um, I went through three classes and it was the same. I said at the very back of the room, teachers didn’t say anything to me. I wanted to keep everything in front of me to stay out of trouble because when you’re dressed like that, uh, people who have things to say, so you wind up getting into fights. Sure. Well I’m going to my science class and I’m standing in the threshold of the doorway trying to decide which of the desk in the back of the room that I’m going to choose.
Chaplain Hearne: 17:06 And I wanted that desk in the corner, in the back and in the dark. I wanted that desk. And so I finally decide a scanning it, a that I’m going to go get that desk and Mr Haak. Mr. Haak is a seventh grade science teacher, dark hair about 5’8, 5’9, and dark blue eyes. He has his head down and he’s looking at some papers on his desk and he hadn’t seen me yet and I decide I want that. So I’ll walk through the door and he looks up and he says, oh, you must be Nathanial. And he says, I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about you. And I turned to look behind me to see if that was another Nathanial back there. Because I just couldn’t believe that the teacher was saying that they heard wonderful things about me because I just left the elementary school and uh, you know, just like brother Jake said, I stayed in trouble because I hated school and no one at the elementary school ever told me I was wonderful.
Chaplain Hearne: 18:05 But he comes up, he gets up, he stands up, he walks over, he comes to me and he shakes my hand and he puts his arm around me and he walks me into the classroom and then he’s walking me into the classroom. He’s talking to me and he says, uh, Nathanial, he stops and he stops at a desk and he says, Nathanial, this class, we have arranged seating and this is your desk. And he pointed to a desk in the front row directly in front of his desk. And all the fears just rain down upon me because I knew I wasn’t a front desk front row student. I knew I didn’t belong there. I didn’t want to be there. My comfort zone was in the back desk in the dark and the back of that room. And this fear engulfed me. Yes sir. But Mr Haak was one of those kinds of teachers who was a master teacher.
Chaplain Hearne: 19:04 He was a master motivator. He was a master character developer. He could take a room filled with 25 students and make every one of you, every one of us feel like we had a private tutor. And by the time I left his class on that day, I felt great about myself because I felt like he was teaching to me. Wow. The last class of the day was seventh grade football and were lined up outside waiting for the football coaches to come out. All the seventh graders. And I walked this big giant of a man, six foot four, a coach, Mark Wallace. He’s now, he’s light blue eyes, blonde hair crew cut. And he comes down the line shaking hands and he gets to me and he says, you’re Hearne. I said, yes sir. He said, uh, I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about. You said, I heard you were a good athlete and you got to be on my team and we’re gonna win a lot of football games, Hearne.
Chaplain Hearne: 20:03 And he smiled at me and my heart just leapt. Yes sir. I went home the first day of school walking on a cloud because two teachers had affirmed me in one day and that had never happened to me before in any of my formative education. I couldn’t wait to get back to school the next day and they continued to affirm me to continue to support me. And to this day I still stay in touch with Mr, with Coach Wallace. He’s 85 years old and we still text and he still talks to me. They saved my life.
Jake Enriquez: 20:38 That’s amazing. Praise God. And we thank God for them, brothers. man, Seriously. Uh, and as a matter of fact, uh, you know, if we go into the story, you know, you tell the story when you became, I believe it’s an administrator, assistant principal, I believe it was. When you saw, when he came back to visit you. Tell me about that. Tell me about that already came back to see you and you were in office, I believe in the office at the time. And I guess your assistant told you how a guest outside and he came in.
Chaplain Hearne: 21:05 Yeah. Uh, uh, such a powerful thing and you’re really affirming that you read that book. It’s amazing. Um, I coached football for many years at Permian High School and uh, I decided that I was asked to make, take a position as assistant principal at the school. And so having a work ethic as a football coach, as took that in, transition that into being a principal and people a key, it’s would parents would look at me crazy. Like, what are you doing here at 8:00 at night? Checking on my kid, telling me that there’s something. So that’s the same kind of work ethic that I had in football. And my second year they named me the outstanding principal of region 18, which covered 30, 23 counties. And they sent me to a Austin to accept the award from the governor of Texas. When I came back, they had written a little tiny article in the Odessa American talking about me receiving that award.
Chaplain Hearne: 22:12 Uh, two weeks later my secretary, Mrs Alice Mosley walks into my office and she says, Mr Hearne, you have a visitor. And I told her, because I had my head down, I was signing papers and I thought it was a parent or a student or teacher looking. I said, Ms Mosley just send to me. And yeah, I didn’t look up in a few seconds later, uh, I feel this presence over me and I look up his Coach Wallace. Oh, but he’s not coach anymore. He is the superintendent of the school district that I graduated from. I’m covered with emotion. I jump up the shake his hand, but he comes around the desk and he hugs me and he used to do that when I played, uh, for him as a seventh grade football player. Yes sir. And he would, he had a favorite word that he would say to me. I had a game where I did realize standing and he told me her and I knew you would do this.
Chaplain Hearne: 23:16 Well, he comes up, he’s hugging me and uh, he saying Hearne I read about you in the newspaper. Now you got to, this article was, it was, uh, it was like, it took a magnifying glass to see that article. It was in the back of the paper. Yeah. Okay. Come on. And he read it and he said, I just wanted to come by and let you know how proud we are of you and uh, just outstanding work. And then he used that famous line on me that he used to use when I was in the seventh grade and he said, but I knew you would do this. Yes sir. And I felt just like that seventh grade football player all over again looking into his eyes at him holding me. And I began to weep. And I, I couldn’t stop crying. Yes. Uh, it, at the moment it was the most embarrassing thing that had ever done in my life because I couldn’t stop crying. But he was that kind of man. And what he was doing there is still affirming and showing me how to walk out a legacy because he was a legacy and he knew how to mentor people and build character. And he, at 48 years old, he was still showing me how to do that.
Jake Enriquez: 24:34 Yeah, that’s amazing. And you had met him in seventh grade. How many years later is this?
Chaplain Hearne: 24:34 I’m twelve. And now I’m 48. So…count that up, mathematician.
Jake Enriquez: 24:53 Come on, man! That’s the way you do it. Uh, and you know, I think about that because that’s life. That’s how we’re supposed to live our lives by the way, is that we would consider others and put the interest of others ahead. And, and to me, when I think about that, I think about the verse that Greater Love Hath No man than this. He would lay down his life for others. Right? And that’s truly how that looks. [that’s powerful] It is. It’s absolutely amazing. I tell you what though, Chap…We’re going to take a…man you’re gonna break me up. We’re gonna take a quick break. Man we’re gonna be right back though.
Jake Enriquez: 25:29 Welcome back to Press and Reach. We’re hanging out with Chaplain Hearne and uh, what a wonderful guest and an awesome opportunity just to be able to sit here with my brother.
Jake Enriquez: 25:36 So listen, you know, what we were talking about before the break about those things coming up in school and you were talking about Coach Wallace and we talked about how men pour into others and also that you did receive an award and you did go to Austin and uh, you were celebrated and, and, and they, you know, they were thankful for you. Right? But that aid, the only time that you ever go into, he had made a trip to Austin. Tell me about the other trip to Austin because we do know about the Mojo, about the Mojo crew out there, but you were called, you and others were called to Austin for different reasons. And you want to share a little bit about that, why you guys went down that way?
Chaplain Hearne: 26:23 Yes. I like a brother Enriquez was saying. I coach for 10 years at Permian High School. And during that time, uh, we had a winning percentage that, that was just unreal. As a matter of fact, uh, we, uh, were named team of the decade. We won more football games between ’80 and 1989 in any other 5A high school in the state of Texas also be in a, during that time we won two state championships and we’re named national champions. So we were at the apex of football in the state of Texas and there’s no football like football in Texas. So I’m. One of the things that we were getting a w was when you’re at the top, you better be ready because people are gonna nibble at you. Yeah. Uh, and uh, it happened to us and it happened to me personally, Cross town rival, uh, didn’t like some of the things that we were doing and uh, sending an anonymous letter to the superintendent that said that we were cheating, but my name was the only name that was mentioned, written that specifically and said that I was recruiting all of the, a good black players to come to Permian High School, which wasn’t true.
Chaplain Hearne: 27:43 Right? So the head coach took that letter and threw it in the trash because it wasn’t signed. But a little later they decided they would, um, videos and I sent that to the superintendent and he accepted that. And then the UIL rule said that the school district said that we were cheaters and they started sending us to a trial. We went to the district executive committee and the district executive committee said that was a little too big for them to decide the punishment. So they sent us to the state UIL executive committee to decide our fate. And we were sent to Austin, Texas, uh, everywhere across the United States -the people were running this story. Uh, there were stories of, with my name in it, cheating, in the LA Times, stories of my name and it cheating at the New York Times and every place in between simply because we were at the apex. We were national champions.
Chaplain Hearne: 28:49 We were champions. We had been named team of the decade. So everybody was carrying the story. Uh, they sent us to Austin, Texas before Bailey Marshall and his crew, with my name still being the most severe of all because they were stand that I was recruiting a players. They put us up in a Radisson, they had the meeting in the ballroom and it was packed. Wow. Photographers and reporters and sports reporters from all over were there. I’m sitting there, uh, across the table from Mr Marshall and his executive committee of 12 superintendents from districts all over the state of Texas. And, uh, they gave us the most severe punishment for a first time offender ever assessed. Uh, and one of the things that they’d said to us, we have to get lawyers and Mr Marshall stood up and he told us after we presented our case that they weren’t there to decide if we were innocent or guilty.
Chaplain Hearne: 29:55 We were already proven to be guilty. They were simply there to assess a punishment. Wow. And it gave us the most severe of all. And one of the things that they say it to us was that if this ever happens again, uh, we would not be able to put us on probation for a year along with other. But the most severe thing they said was, if we ever break another Ui or rule, we would not be allowed to coach in the state of Texas ever again. That was an eye opening experience for me simply because of winning. You’re a. and you know, just like a brother, Jake says, everyone know the Mojo, the Mojo had been at the top for a long time. And it didn’t stop there. It continued. We…they continued to chip at us.
Jake Enriquez: 30:42 Hmm. Okay. So during that time, you know, uh, I remember, I recall reading in your book when the sentencing was going down, you bowed your head and started pray. Uh, what was your conversation like with the Lord? And, and I should ask this first because I believe that, um, maybe things and become a little bit more for you and we’re drawing you away from, from God in a, in a maybe indirect way. And, and I know that we don’t, we often don’t like to say, well man, I’m just all in on this, but things can affect each and every one of us out here. And it doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s business as coaching a football team, I’m a whatever it is that we’re the endeavor we’re looking to accomplish or go after. But what was your conversation like with God during that time?
Chaplain Hearne: 31:31 I so good. That’s so good. I’m one of the things that happened, uh, uh, when you in a winning program like that and we had success, there’s all kinds of amenities that come along with it. And you store feeling like a, you’re invincible. Uh, uh, we had a wonderful program and, you know, give an example of what a, during that time I would sometimes find myself speeding through a desk trying to get four and a corn, but as a coach and I would stop by the local police department and some office was walk up and I rolled the window down and they go, oh, coach, how you think we’re going to do this year? And I said, ah man, we’re going to win it all. And then go, okay, coach, let me go. He wouldn’t write a ticket if you, uh, you know, meals bought for you and all those other kinds of things.
Chaplain Hearne: 32:22 When you get that over and over, you start thinking that you are above the law. You, you know, you don’t really need God. Before I got the job at Permian High School, I was in my Bible. I was in the church. I was reading my Bible here everyday, praying to God, going to church because that’s how I was reared. My mother was a very deeply devout Christian lady and she taught it to all her children. Well, when I got the Permian and start coaching, I started this whole pro, very cliche of doing what the Romans do. Uh, I stopped going to church. I stopped reading my Bible and as I was hearing the things that this coach was saying about me at that meeting, I dropped my head and I said, God, how? How did I get here? How did my life go? Solo? Left. Yes sir.
Chaplain Hearne: 33:12 Uh, and God said you forgot about me. Oh Man. And, and in that moment it just came flooding back to me. All the things that I had stopped doing, going to church has stopped praying like I had been praying that stopped reading my Bible like I because I was focused on doing a great job, is coaching and forgotten by God and risk appearance, success, but it wasn’t the kind of success that God had ever wanted. Never wanted that kind of access, that secular success is a trap God wanted me to be biblically successful. And uh, when I, I said a prayer, God forgive me and when I, uh, when I get through, if I make it through this, God given it over to you, I’ve given my life over to you. Uh, I raised a, lifted my head up and that’s when Mr Marshall stepped up and told us that you will be taken out of the playoffs.
Chaplain Hearne: 34:06 You will be suspended from games and if you ever valid again you will be, you will never be able to coach in the state of Texas again. Yeah. But after that, the next year we came back and we won state again. Went 16 and 0 and we did it even better than we did with 1989. Okay. And after that I’ll go to administration and my second year in administration, they named me the outstanding principal of the year and I’m thinking, God, you’re talking to me because I gave back. I did what I’m supposed to do. I got in the church, I started reading my Bible. I stayed on my knees and I was thinking when I got back from Austin, I was saying to myself, God, you have proven to me that you have, you will not break your promise. You told me if I did these things, what you would do for me. And so, uh, that year and my second year I resigned a signed, uh, enrolled in seminary at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology. And I have not looked back because God has been with me every since.
Jake Enriquez: 35:15 It’s amazing. It’s amazing Chap, man. I greatly appreciate that. As you’ve walked along the way. Now I know you just mentioned that you made mentioned you went to seminary. I know you’re a chaplain at the Boyd unit, so as maybe some might look at you today, say, well, you know, Chaplain Hearne, he probably has no problems and you know, he doesn’t really have to, you know, he’s, he’s got it now, but even during this time, may I ask you this chap, a faith is always going to be tested along the way. That’s how, that’s how it’s trusted – as we keep, keep walking in it. Can you tell me about a time even after, so that maybe you found yourself still in a time that’s, man, I’m not really hearing from God right now, or I’m finding a, a, just a really hard season that I’m going through? What was it like for you during a time like that? Ever since, even past seminary and such now, and I don’t know, what did you do in the time like that?
Chaplain Hearne: 36:15 Well that’s a great question because I’m experiencing, I’ve been experiencing that time right now, Brother Jake. I’m going through that season right now. Um, I could have, uh, did a lot of things when I retired from the public school system because, um, I have the degrees, I have the education, I could have done a lot of things, but my God said, in Matthew, when I was sick – when did you visit? When did you help me? When I was in prison? When did you visit me? When I was naked? When did you clothe me? And I’d take that literally because prison ministry is something that I take to heart and I, I want to do God’s bidding in that environment. But, uh, because I want to do ministry, I’m finding that the system is not set up for doing ministry is more of doing paperwork and it’s, it’s more bureaucratic and I really have to work hard at doing ministry and it’s my heart desire to minister to the men’s need. But it’s so very difficult right now that I, I questioned God, is this where you want me? Is this what you really need from me? I’m not getting to do two things that you have put on my heart to do here. And I’m in that season because I’m feeling like, God, please, or you’re listening to me right now because I need You. I need to know that I’m doing what You’ve called me to do. And His voice is kind of silent. And it’s almost saying to me: wait.
Jake Enriquez: 37:49 Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I think that’s great. Wait is great. No it don’t feel great. Don’t feel great, Chap. Uh, I have reminded somewhat earlier and I, and I know that sometimes when we speak to others, God’s speaking to us first, even as the words fall out of our mouth, He want us to hear it first. And uh, and simply said, man, I reminded somebody not long ago. Hey, don’t doubt in the dark what God’s already revealed in the light. He’s already given it to you. We got to just keep walking. Right? Interesting. And I know chaplain that for a lot of us out here, we get to these places, we get to the seasons and maybe God doesn’t just show it to us right away, but that way there’s so much in that waiting. That’s the, that’s the proof for us in the pudding that we do trust him.
Jake Enriquez: 38:38 We do trust in, in his time, everything you know, but we can’t help but want that right away, you know, we want it, you know, because we want to know that we’re moving in his will and his way. So as we continue to walk along the way, uh, I think about those character traits that always are developed in us along the way. So what would you say, you know, for anybody and everybody out here is one of the most important character traits developed in us, not only as a believer but walking and continuing to walk in the faith. If you could say one trait or character trait developed, what would it be?
Chaplain Hearne: 39:20 I think, more than anything, that’s integrity. [integrity, absolutely] Gotta have integrity. And integrity, to me is, is living and walking out your legacy. Okay, we’re going to all have a legacy. No doubt. You cannot not have a legacy. We’re gonna all have leave a legacy and you can either have a positive legacy or you can leave a negative legacy, and I believe it all comes down to what Jesus, the definition…now Webster says, it’s, it’s, um, uh, leaving things monetarial things left over to someone by will our request. That’s Webster’s definition, but Jesus has another one. Jesus says, and He says, I no longer call you servants because servant does not know his master’s business. I call you My friends because everything that I have learned from My father, I’ve made known to you. You didn’t choose Me, but I chose you and I’ll point you to bear fruit.
Chaplain Hearne: 40:09 Fruit that will last. When He talks about fruit, He’s talking about your character. When he talks about fruit that will last. He’s talking about how you’re going to love and serve others. Yeah. Maxwell says, the most important thing about us is how we empower people to do great things without us. That’s our legacy. And the legacy is all about integrity. Integrity, and character is those things that you do when you don’t think anyone is watching you. That’s not a better, more powerful thing than any of us can do other than to empower people to do great things about without us. That’s our legacy. And legacies are all about integrity.
Jake Enriquez: 40:52 Yes sir. Absolutely man. Thank you for that. Uh, we, we say readers are leaders, uh, I love, uh, I love to read myself, but I do know and understand that so many others do as well. Um, what would you say, do you have a book that you would recommend for somebody out there who just want to get started and maybe maybe they try and do better, maybe they trying to, you know, step out in the ministry, maybe they starting to maybe walk out in faith, but what would be a book that you would recommend that, that builds towards a character and integrity?
Chaplain Hearne: 41:33 I have so many. Can I give three? Absolutely, please do. The first one is Kyle Idleman, “Not a Fan”, not a fan. Uh, it’s all about following Jesus. The third one is a “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning, m, a n, n, i, n, g. and the third one is “The Man, the Myth and Messiah” by Rice Brooks. Uh, if I could recommend any books for anyone to read that will change your life and get you hooked up with understanding grace and faith and how to follow those are the three. Okay?
Jake Enriquez: 42:13 Absolutely. We will put those in the show notes and have them available for the, for the listeners there. So let me ask you this Chap, how can people reach out to connect with you? Do you have a facebook page or is it on facebook?
Chaplain Hearne: 42:26 I do. I have a website. Is www.drhearne.org or an email address is nate dot hearne at made up mind (all one word) dot org.
Jake Enriquez: 42:44 Okay. We’ll put that in the show notes guys. You’ll be able to just go to the show notes on this episode and you’ll be able to reach out to chaplain her and as well. Well man, listen. Hey, we thank you so much for coming. You know, we love you. We thank God for you man. Always. So let me ask you this one last thing before you. Before you go, let’s just say somebody going through it right now, and the listener, I don’t know, man, maybe they’re in the car, they’re in the gym, they’re going through something and it’s a really hard season in their life. What would you say as a final word of encouragement to that brother or sister who’s listening in today?
Chaplain Hearne: 43:20 I’d have to come from Paul. Uh, that’s one of my favorites of all. And Paul says in Romans 12, two, do not conform to the things of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you will be able to discern the will of God for your life. That which is good, that which is acceptable and that which is perfect for you. This world wants to challenge you and it challenged you through the themes that’s going to affect you the most. Those mental things. And Paul said it almost 2000 years ago to not conform to the things of this world
Jake Enriquez: 44:02 Man, praise God. Praise God. So, uh, hope you heard that. Do not conform to the things of this world. Praise God. Thank you so much to happen here. And we greatly appreciate it. And once again for the show notes on this episode, simply go to press and reach dot com forward slash pr 64.
Website: Made Up Minds
Donations for the Boyd Unit: Dollar Tree, ship to store
1001 E Milam St.
Mexia, TX 76667-2528
Books: Friday Night Lights: Untold Stories from Behind the Lights, by Dr. Nathanial Hearne
The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, by Brennan Manning
Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History’s Greatest Question, by Rice Broocks and Dr. Gary Habermas