I get the pleasure of introducing Faith Made Music: the product of two men’s lives. Brandon Yohe and Ian Thielman were amazing guests and took time to share their incredible testimonies leading up to the start of Faith Made Music. The testimonies take up some time, so I have labeled the start and stop times of these testimonies in the show notes for your convenience. You’re invited into the storied foundation of Faith Made Music.
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Ian – Testimony
Brandon – Testimony
Faith Made Music
Start 31:35 – End
Get to know Ian and Brandon!
Nathan Sack 00:12
Thanks for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. The purpose of a Faith Horizons podcast is to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City one conversation at a time. I get the pleasure of introducing Faith Made Music. Brandon Yohe and Ian Thielman were incredible guests and took time to share their incredible testimonies leading up to the start of Faith Made Music. The testimonies take up some time. So I have labeled the start and stop times of the testimonies in the show notes for your convenience. You’re invited into the storied foundation of Faith Made Music. Here’s my conversation with Brandon Yohe and Ian Thielman. Today I’m speaking with Brandon Yohe and Ian Thielman of Faith Made Music. Welcome to the Faith Horizons podcast, guys.
Ian Thielman 01:04
Thanks, Nathan. Honored to be here.
Nathan Sack 01:06
Good to have you guys. So I’d like to start just for the you know, just a little bit of your backstory as you guys both have like cool backstories and just you know, where the Lord is brought you from. So Ian Thielman, would you like to head that off?
Ian Thielman 01:22
Yeah, let’s do it. Man, where do I start? So growing up, you know, I was in a single mother home. Father wasn’t present. So my mom was taking care of me and my sister, and she was holding down two jobs. And, you know, she, she and a lot of our family always struggled with substance abuse. And most of my role models, they struggle with substance abuse as well. So it was kind of like the environment that I was, you know, brought up in. And so, with that, myself, I started, you know, drinking and smoking weed around about 10 years old. And then by 13, I was using a lot heavier drugs and was arrested for the first time at the age of 12. And from there just, you know, kind of kept getting worse, you know.
Nathan Sack 02:10
So you said you were arrested at the age of like, 12 years old. And then did you ever end up going to like juvie or-
Ian Thielman 02:17
Yeah, yeah, that’s it. Yeah. So actually like that. Yeah, that was the next thing. So at 15 I was sent to a youth boot camp in Topeka for six months.
Nathan Sack 02:26
And so you lived in Kansas City at the time, and then you went to Topeka.
Ian Thielman 02:30
No, that was in Ottawa, I lived in Ottawa.
Nathan Sack 02:33
Okay, you’re in Ottawa, Kansas.
Ian Thielman 02:34
Yeah, yeah, I was in Ottawa. And then they shipped, shipped me off to Topeka youth boot camp. And while I was there, I got kicked out of the boot camp that I was in, right. Yeah. And so then I had to go back in front of the judge, and the judge just I think the judge was just sick to see me. And so at that point, he sent me to a facility in Topeka called White Cat at the time.
Nathan Sack 03:00
So you were in the same place, then.
Ian Thielman 03:02
Back in Topeka, yeah. This time, it was like a youth correctional facility or whatever. And I went there, and I was there for like, 10 months.
Nathan Sack 03:09
Okay. And then. So how old were you at that point? What, 14?
Ian Thielman 03:14
I was, how old was I? I was 15. Or no, I was 16. I was 16 at that time when I got when I got sent to there. Yeah. And yeah, I mean, like, I’d never stepped foot in high school. You know, like, I got my GED while I was in White Cat. So that was crazy.
Nathan Sack 03:34
That’s cool, though. White Cat got you a GED.
Ian Thielman 03:36
Well, yeah, I mean, the judge was like, Hey, man, this is one of the stipulations while you’re in here. Like, you got to get your GED, so and then, so I got out. And then I was released on probation. And at that time, I was like, 17, when I got out, and then I did really good for the first time on probation, because normally, I’d have a really hard time with, you know, revoking my probation and stuff like that. And so I finally completed it. And then I was doing really well. And then I turned 18. And I decided I was going to find a different group of people to hang out with, because I thought I’d been here my whole life, you know, like-
Nathan Sack 04:12
So a different group of people other than that, the bad influence that you had been hanging out with.
Ian Thielman 04:17
Right, but the problem was, is they weren’t really the greatest influence either. And so I was, I ended up going out on Halloween night and doing some really stupid stuff. And I got arrested. But this time, it was a felony. And so then I was put back on probation. And I was on house arrest for 45 days.
Nathan Sack 04:40
At least you weren’t somewhere other than your house. But yeah.
Ian Thielman 04:43
Right, right. Yeah.
Nathan Sack 04:45
So some grace and mercy there.
Ian Thielman 04:46
There definitely was, yeah. All along the way. Yeah. And then during that time, though, like I revoked my probation because I was living with my sister, and I would have the surveillance officer come over to the house and he would check up on me. And I was just being stupid and thought I could drink and be okay. And he caught me like every time. And so. So they, they revoked my probation again. And then the judge this time sent me to an adult boot camp, for five months, and I barely made it out of there. If I would, I almost got like, almost didn’t make it out of that program. If so I would have got sent to prison, but by the grace of God, I made it out of there. And then was released again, on probation, which I eventually revoked, again, due to drug use, and then to avoid jail I went on the run for a while, but then was arrested months later after that.
Nathan Sack 05:40
So when they arrested you, did they send you to jail? Or did you?
Ian Thielman 05:43
So they did, but then somebody came and bailed me out. And that’s the crazy part that I think about because I didn’t know God at the time. Like, I didn’t know who God was.
Nathan Sack 05:53
So you didn’t even know Jesus before this.
Ian Thielman 05:56
No, I mean, I’ve heard about Him, but I didn’t understand, you know, who Jesus was, who He was, to me and what He did for me, you know, and so even though, you know, I didn’t know God at the time, He showed up in a big way. And I wrote a letter to my probation officer and to the judge because I feel like I’d had a moment in my life when I was on the run, where I’d realized, like, the way I was living, like, I didn’t want it anymore. And I wanted something different, and I was sincere about it, but I don’t think it was necessary that letter, I think it was just God’s grace man, because they ended up giving me time served, and I only had to do two days in jail. And then I was released free from probation.
Nathan Sack 06:36
Awesome. So how old were you then, about 21?
Ian Thielman 06:39
Um, let’s see. So how old was I? I think I was 19. I was 19 at the time. Yeah.
Nathan Sack 06:48
So you’re still living in Ottawa?
Ian Thielman 06:50
Still living in Ottawa, yep.
Nathan Sack 06:51
So is that the end of where you’re at then?
Ian Thielman 06:53
No. And then so this is where my story kind of turns. Right. So, so not too long after that. I met my wife Ashley, who had been married to for 16 years.
Nathan Sack 07:02
Oh, that is incredible.
Ian Thielman 07:04
It is. Yeah. Praise God.
Ian Thielman 07:08
And a good woman. She is, she is yeah. And she’s the amazing mother to our four kids. And we were literally together for three weeks when I had met her. And she asked me to move to Arizona with her. And I was I was 19 at the time.
Nathan Sack 07:24
Was Ashley from Ottawa as well?
Ian Thielman 07:26
She actually grew up in Richmond, Kansas, which is like, okay,a podunk town. Do you know where Princeton is in Ottawa?
Nathan Sack 07:38
No, but yeah…
Ian Thielman 07:40
So anyways if you keep going through Ottawa, you’ll eventually get to Princeton, Main Street all the way through, then you’ll get to Richmond and like, 500 people, maybe but okay, but yeah, so that’s where she grew up at. And, and, you know, meeting her, man that was a true godson. And from there my life, it started to improve, you know, and, but as good as things were, I still battle and struggle with the substance abuse, like it was still a huge issue in my life. And it caused a lot of problems in our marriage throughout the years, but you know, by the grace of God, we hung on.
Nathan Sack 08:10
Yeah. And the predominant substance abuse, like drugs and alcohol, or was it predominantly alcohol?
Ian Thielman 08:18
It was anything like normally like, so my younger years, it was anything I could get my hands on. It would be you know, weed, alcohol, meth, acid, cocaine, like anything that I could get, right. And I wasn’t necessarily like, more into one or the other, I guess more weed and alcohol was more of the normal thing, you know. And then, when I got older, and I moved to Arizona, it was more just like, weed and alcohol. All the time. And so like, I would get off work. And this time, we had one kid, and the first thing I would do is I would go out to the garage, and I would have to smoke weed to feel better because I was in pain, and I didn’t know it. And, and I was trying to medicate that pain and to try to feel better, you know, but then, at the age of 28, I ended up me and my wife, both we went to this church in Phoenix, it was called The Door and just a little church, and it’s the church that God brought us to get us our, you know, our freedom, you know, so to speak, that that journey of freedom and ended up giving our hearts to Jesus on that day was Sunday, June 26, 2011. And from there, we started serving at a local church. And then fast forward to 2020 I had been feeling in my heart that it was time to move back home to Kansas to be closer to my family. Everybody we knew out there was like, was gone. So we’re just kind of like lone ranger in it, you know, and, but wasn’t sure if it would work, you know, because I had my job and we had a house. We weren’t trying to move back and start all over with everything. So that’s kind of what me and Ashley agreed on was like, if we’re gonna move back, it’s got to be right. So my job approved me to work from home out there or out here in Kansas. So that was awesome. So that was one step out of the way. And then a good buddy of mine by the name of David Kinsley, he offered to buy my home for cash, which was crazy in Arizona. And then he’s like, Hey, bro, I’ll buy your home for cash. And you can live here. Yeah, for as long as you need to until you find a home in Kansas because the market just like it is now it was crazy. And it was really hard to find something.
Nathan Sack 10:28
Yes. So that time was like 2020.
Ian Thielman 10:33
Yes, that was in 2020. So we started that journey of trying to find a house in July in 2020. So then, after he offered to buy the house, I got approved for the job. We went on the hunt to find a house. And so it took us quite a while trying to find a home, we finally found a lady that was selling her home. And her whole thing was that she wanted to move back to Arizona to be closer to family.
Nathan Sack 10:56
You guys are doing like that location swap here.
Ian Thielman 10:59
Yeah, yeah and that’s how God works. You know, I’m saying it was like, Okay, well, I know, I know we’re on the right, steps here. You know, God’s involved. Definitely. So we ended up buying her home and my buddy who bought my house also moved us to Kansas for free, and then move the lady who bought the house. We bought the house from the Arizona. And that was in September 2020. And then before, you know, shortly before we moved, come to find out that that Brandon, he lives he literally had moved here in August and live five minutes from where he bought the house from.
Nathan Sack 11:36
That’s so cool. All right. Well, Brandon you’re up.
Brandon Yohe 11:40
Basically. I grew up in Ottawa, Kansas.
Nathan Sack 11:44
You guys knew each other, right?
Brandon Yohe 11:45
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yep. We met at like, I think 11,12 something like that.
Nathan Sack 11:51
So while Ian was running around with doing some shenanigans, were you-
Brandon Yohe 11:55
We was doing it together. Shenanigan brothers. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So basically, yeah. Grew up in Ottawa, Kansas. Just my mom. I mean, my dad was around till about five. He struggled with drugs real bad. He’s also highly schizophrenic, just a lot of mental health issues. And he ended up taking off nobody really even knew where he went.
Nathan Sack 12:16
So at what age did he leave?
Brandon Yohe 12:18
Nathan Sack 12:19
Brandon Yohe 12:20
Yeah, thank you, man. So about five, he left. So it was just me, my mom and my sister, and my older half-brother. We was poor. Poverty, lived on welfare, struggled a lot. But mom still always managed to put food on the table and do her best. You know, substance abuse, obviously was an issue in my home, a lot of drinking party. And to be honest, I remember it probably six or seven years old, getting woke up to a loud noise, and I looked into the living room, and I thought it was a party and I went back to sleep. But a little later, I get woke up by the police and my house is being raid, raided for drugs. So I was probably like, seven. And my mom had been arrested for cocaine selling cocaine. They kicked in her door.
Nathan Sack 13:07
Yeah. So she was just trying to provide.
Brandon Yohe 13:10
Amen, brother. Thank you for saying that. Yeah, man. She’s all she knew, man.
Nathan Sack 13:14
So was there any was there any like Jesus in the home at this time? I mean-
Brandon Yohe 13:18
No, my mom always. My mom always spoke of God. And she would she had faith in God, but she didn’t know the extent of what God really is and what Jesus is at that, at that time you know.
Nathan Sack 13:31
I was wondering that I was I thought there might be.
Brandon Yohe 13:33
Yeah, yeah, there was definitely some faith you I mean, we would pray even, you know, we had a lot of hard times and struggles and you know, looking back, I can see where God was highly involved and showed favor in my life, even though it was hard. Basically started, I started drinking and smoking weed, just like Ian around 11 years old. By 13, the same as Ian I was using meth and whatever drug I can get my hand on, regularly, obviously, about that time. I quit going to school completely. Got arrested for the first time at 13. And then the cycle of drug abuse and being in and out of jail continued until my adult years basically, juvenile treatment centers. I actually got sent up here to ATC. It’s still around. It’s a youth treatment center here in Kansas City. Adolescence Center for Treatment maybe?
Nathan Sack 14:31
Ian Thielman 14:32
Yeah, yeah. sent there. Actually, at one point, I was being picked up at the county jail every morning to get picked up by my school and taken to alternative school every Monday because I had to go to jail for the weekend. So basically, I would get dropped off from Friday from the school, go to jail for the weekend. And this is as a juvenile and get picked up on Monday morning to go back to school. Because I guess they was trying to keep me out of white cat or just trying to do the more treatment route with me, I guess.
Nathan Sack 15:03
Yeah, they’re trying to let you have experience with, yeah.
Brandon Yohe 15:07
Yeah. We were in that alternative school together. I remember that. That was crazy.
Nathan Sack 15:12
What was that, the ATC or the-
Brandon Yohe 15:15
No, it was just it’s an alternative school, basically, for when the schools are done with you, and they kick you out and they’re like, you’re not allowed back. So yeah, in and out of jails and treatment centers. At 22 I was blessed with my first son, Dominique Gage Yohe, the young dashing stallion of a man, and at 24 was my first real severe arrest, 24 I was arrested on multiple felony charges, and was given the option at that point to go to prison, or to go to Labette Boot Camp for five months and a week. And of course, I chose boot camp. It was at that point that I had my first I started to gain some self-respect, you know, and that and you know, it’s kind of like they, they break it down and build you up. And so I walked out of boot camp, feeling like a man, you know what I mean, the first time in my life, and I felt like I’ve accomplished something, and just my self-worth had grown a bunch. And I knew, like, I was stronger than what I’d given myself credit for, for all those years, you know? So I mean, I’m still this day. I’m so grateful that I got sent into that place. I met a lot of good men that poured into me, and it just it benefited my life a lot.
Nathan Sack 16:28
And that was you said, Labette?
Brandon Yohe 16:30
Yeah, Labette Boot Camp.
Nathan Sack 16:31
Where’s that at?
Brandon Yohe 16:32
Labette County. It shut down now. But it was basically where they would send-
Ian Thielman 16:37
Brandon Yohe 16:38
No, it’s in Kansas. Yeah, um, basically send anybody in Kansas, when you get felony charges, instead of sending you to prison for your first felony charges they give you one more option of kind of another shot of rehabilitation and release you on community corrections, or probation.
Nathan Sack 16:55
That’s really, you know, but I’m not familiar with justice system. And it’s really cool that they’re able to like stairstep, you okay, you guys are getting closer, you’re getting closer, you know, it’s like, and they’re trying to keep you out. Because it’s like, because once you get like, once you get in, like, it’s just, it’s just a slippery slope.
Brandon Yohe 17:15
It is man. And, and a lot of people have a lot of negative things to say about the justice system. And it could be better. Yeah, man, just like we were then they’re trying to do their best, you know what I mean? And I have utmost respect for most, most all of the corrections officers that I’ve ever ran into, like, they cared. Yeah, I could feel that they cared. There were a few that I could say otherwise. But for the most part, same with police officers, you know, had a lot of run ins with them. I’ve met a couple that I don’t want to meet again. But for the most part, they were good men and women, you know, I mean, and really want to see a change in the world. Yeah. So basically 24 went to boot camp, then I got out and I wanted, I knew that going back to Ottawa would be a bad choice. I just needed to restart fresh start. So I moved to Chanute, Kansas, and was doing good for the first time. And during my boot camp, stay my son had got taken by the state from his mother. So it was on me or he was getting lost in the state so I regained full custody of my son and walk through everything that was needed for that. And did pretty well for a while I had my daughter Keeley J Yohe at 26 years old, my beautiful daughter Kaylee J Yohe. And I completed probation. And shortly after that, I started using drugs again and fell back in to my old lifestyle slowly. At first being thinking I kind of had control of it this time, and I could do it every once in a while. But we all know where that leads. 27 I was badly beaten by a group of individuals and suffered severe injuries and was life flighted to the hospital with severe head traumas. Basically, was on ICU for like, five days. It was a pretty serious situation. Through that I they prescribed me high doses of pain medications. Growing up, like I never really even cared for pain medication. I was around them. I could have taken them. I just never liked it. I’m just made me really sleepy, you know, but these were different. And it kind of awakened a new beast in me and it was being IV use in the hospital. And then so shortly after that, that’s when my addiction really, really spun out of control. Excessive use of pain meds had me very close to death. I remember a conversation that I did have with my sister one morning after waking up and she’s like, I just want you to know like he was doing one breath a minute while you sleep in last night. And it just, she I could see the fear in her eyes and it made me feel horrible, you know, to put her through that over my selfish reasons. So I ended up going to the doctor to kind of express where I was with all this because I was on- I was getting prescribed Percocet Dilaudid. I was getting prescribed so many drugs that the pharmacist was like, he couldn’t believe that the doctor was given me that many. And he wanted to express how high doses of narcotics I was on. So this was probably early on in the whole pain medication pandemic. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, they’re a little they got it tightened down now, but yeah, this was early on. So that was really, that was just given him out, you know, so I went into the doctor and told him, I’m gonna die, man, like I need, I need help. At that moment, what I thought would be help. It was just he just said, I can’t prescribe you anymore pain medications. And he told me that. And basically, I walked from that doctor’s office being cut completely off all pain medications. It just left me in a really bad place. So at that point, I went back to the lifestyle fully and started doing whatever I could to get pain medication. Shortly after that, I had to take you kind of back to the night, I’d taken a bunch of Xanax. And I was drinking at the bar. And I left the bar that night by myself. And I was walking down the road and in an alley, and I looked to the right, and there’s the back of a pharmacy. And there was a brick laying there. And literally, there’s a police station right there. And I don’t know, I was like a robot. I just, I just did it, dude. And I threw it through the back window and went in for pills. And the silent alarm went off. And I walked in, I put what I was looking for in my pocket, and the cops raided the back door and arrested me inside the pharmacy, obviously, on that one, called my mom from prison or from jail and told her that at that moment, we thought it was going to be federal charges, which it very well could have been, but it was a locally owned pharmacy instead of a federal owned pharmacy.
Nathan Sack 22:08
So it was like it was not like CVS or anything.
Brandon Yohe 22:11
No it was yeah, if it would have been then I would have went to federal prison.
Nathan Sack 22:15
Brandon Yohe 22:18
But anyways, yeah, I had to go to prison man, my, my slowly steps up to before that, you know, I’ve been shown grace and forgiveness many times, and there was no other choice. And I was good with that. You know what I mean, throughout all of this, I did. When I when I was wrong, I admitted it. And I knew it, you know what I mean? So I knew that I needed to go to prison is at least you know what I mean? So I signed up, went to prison for three years. And I got sent clear out to Norton Kansas, which is it would be southwest corner of Kansas. So what’s crazy about it is Chanute does in the south, southeast corner of Kansas. So literally, I was farthest away. I mean, it’s a 12 like a 12 hour drive-
Nathan Sack 23:00
Just to get from here?
Brandon Yohe 23:01
To see my kids or anything.
Nathan Sack 23:03
Oh, my Lord.
Brandon Yohe 23:04
Yeah. So it just wasn’t, wasn’t an option for my family. I mean, so I did. I went a year without seeing them. Just, you know, locked up and I then realized that I wasn’t gonna be able to do this on my own and definitely needed some structure to help me to live without drugs and alcohol. I checked myself into a treatment center and migrated to a long-term faith based sober living home upon my release from a treatment called the Omega program in McPherson, Kansas. At 32, I had my first real encounter with God in a church. And on that day, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and made the decision. It’s turned my life over to Him.
Nathan Sack 23:44
That’s awesome. Yeah, so cool. So you’re 32 then, you said in McPherson.
Brandon Yohe 23:50
Nathan Sack 23:51
How far is that away? Like two hours?
Brandon Yohe 23:53
Nathan Sack 23:54
I always say two hours because everything is about two hours.
Brandon Yohe 23:57
Right? It’s, it’s central Kansas. It’s at least two to three hours. During my time at the Omega program, I saw a lot of positive growth in me. I actually started serving at the church as the children’s pastor and was in college to become an ordained minister. It was a Crossroads Assembly of God church there. And so I was going to college in Wichita at it’s called AGK Psalm. It’s kind of a nighttime college so that you could still have a normal life and go to college and all that. Along that path, I met a girl we ended up getting married. Unfortunately, things did not work out with us. And we got divorced two years later, and pretty much lost everything. That was a really tough time for me because it wasn’t what I wanted. I just I felt like, you know, climbed out of that hole man and I had my own house built from the ground up and just, I was finally established and had something you know what I mean? And growing up from where I come from, just finally had something. I had to walk away from all of it, you know. And I decided I could have stayed and like, got back in the program. I wasn’t in a good place, obviously, you know, I just decided I wanted to go back home to my kids, which-
Nathan Sack 25:14
They were in Shawnee or-
Brandon Yohe 25:16
No they’re in Chanute. And so I moved back to Chanute. And definitely went back to the old lifestyle eventually, which led to me getting arrested again. When I got arrested again, basically was definitely at rock bottom. I’d reached out a couple times throughout this situation and knew that I needed the only answer was to get me clear headed, and I had to get to a treatment center, because the determination goes both ways. When I’m doing good, it’s for a good reason. When I’m doing bad, it’s for a bad reason. I mean, it’s a blessing and a curse. Fortunately, that’s pretty much been how God’s had to always work in my life. It took a rude awakening in a realization before I could start stepping in the right direction. And so at that, that point, basically, God really worked in it, man, it was crazy. Like I said, a lot of felony charges. I was looking at almost 10 years in prison. I accepted a plea bargain, one week, to go for 37 months. I think it’s like yeah I’ll go and get this done with and this time when I get out and walk the path and do what I need to do. And I guess God had another plan. I get a call the next week from my lawyer. And he says, I don’t know what’s going on with the county attorney agreed to let you go to treatment center.
Nathan Sack 26:34
Oh, my gosh.
Brandon Yohe 26:35
I mean, I’m in county jail with no bond changed his mind. Yeah, with no bond at all. And behind the no bond is $100,000 bond, craziest thing I’ve ever been through man as far as the court systems go. But basically, I walked out of jail that morning at 5am and got in a car and got taken to Shawnee Mirror Treatment Center, dropped off there, went to treatment, and then left and signed up to go to an Oxford House. And that’s currently where I reside now.
Nathan Sack 27:05
Oh, cool. Awesome, man. That’s so cool. Yeah.
Ian Thielman 27:09
I don’t know man, I think as Brandon’s homie, since he’s been back here, he’s had to deal with a lot of stuff, too. Like he’s went through a lot of trials since he’s been back. And I don’t know if you want to, like, I mean, yes.
Brandon Yohe 27:23
Yeah, definitely. So I had back pain real bad. I go to the gym a lot. So I thought I was just sore on my back. But I went to one emergency room in the middle of the night because I was curled up like in the fetal position, I was in so much pain.
So I show up to the ER, they do a CAT scan without contrast. Right? And they sit there like you have a, they say you have a cyst on your kidney, which is completely normal, nothing to worry about. So I’m like, okay, and basically I leave so the pain continues. So a week later, I go to a different emergency room because I figured that one’s probably not the best way to go to again try another one. Yeah, so I go back and they’re like, we’re admitted to the hospital your kidneys dead. And so basically, I had been sitting in pain while my kidney died. So I’ve only got one kidney now. Basically and they leave that thing in there believe it or not, if it if it just dies.
Nathan Sack 28:13
The dead one they do?
Brandon Yohe 28:14
Yes, they leave it in because it’ll just kind of decompose itself I guess. So I left it and basically it’s an easier route than them cutting you open because when they when they remove that there’s a lot of rehabilitation involved. So it’s a safer route. So basically, I got one living kidney in me and one dead kidney in me
Ian Thielman 28:35
We’re going to change his rap name to one kid.
Nathan Sack 28:44
Brand new kidney though.
Ian Thielman 28:47
I’m believing for that other kidney to be restored and healed in Jesus name. Amen, brother. It’s funny, but it ain’t funny, right. So yeah, it’s good.
Brandon Yohe 28:56
Well, about a week later, Dude, I got really sick and ended up back in the hospital for like another five days, seven days and finally got released from that man and just was struggling with my health overall, and I didn’t feel good. Then about a month later. My mom, my mom’s been in and out of she’s been in a nursing home for the last three years. She’s been out of the hospitals for the last three years. She just through her life choices. Her body hasn’t done well. She’s a bad heart and everything. So basically, she ended up staying in the hospital. She’d been in there for like three weeks at KU. And I was going up there to see her after work and stuff. And it came my sister brought it to my attention. She’s like, mom’s never stayed in the hospital this long before. You know, she’s like, I just want you to be aware of that, you know, and I’m like, man, and she’s like, I don’t know if she’s going to come out of the hospital. So basically, my mom got put on hospice, and I sit there with her and watched her die. You know, it’s hard. It was hard. There was a lot of healing though, man that happened.
Nathan Sack 30:02
Did you and her get to reestablish relationship?
Brandon Yohe 30:05
We kept a relationship. There was bitterness that felt towards her, you know, a lot of my life because of my upbringing, of course. And I feel like a lot of that got pushed to the side. And actually-
Nathan Sack 30:18
It was kind of a healing experience.
Brandon Yohe 30:19
Yeah, baptized her there. You know and prayed over and-
Ian Thielman 30:25
Through Brandon’s relationship I saw her come closer to God. Yeah, yeah.
Nathan Sack 30:30
Exactly. That’s so cool.
Brandon Yohe 30:32
Yeah. And you know what I mean, she was so proud of what me and Ian we’re doing, you know, before she passed, and just Faith Made Music and where it’s headed. Like she was our number one fan. Like, you can still go back and look at the posts on Facebook. And you’ll find her on all of them. You know? Every single one of them. She’s there, right? Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, one night dude to it hit me so hard dude. Ian found a post, you know, and it said, Keep making music for God, you know, and that’s all she said. And just felt like it was a trying time. It was right after her passing away and Ian sent that to me and just really felt like it for real at that moment. Like, I was like, Alright, we’re going, we’re going and we’re going hard, man.
Nathan Sack 31:14
Absolutely. Wow, what an incredible story. You know, the Lord has brought you through an awesome amount of stuff. Anyway, you got some serious body armor now. So anyway, back to Ian. So you said you moved back into Shawnee Mission. And you said that you’re moving in pretty close to where he lives at now. Right? So you guys moved in about what you say? Five Minutes from each other? So in when you guys were younger, you know, we talked about this a little bit before you guys used to rap together, right?
Ian Thielman 31:55
Yeah. So like we met at like 12 I think I got introduced through a group of friends. I think it was his, his cousin, who kind of like I was hanging out with him. And I went over to his aunt’s house, which was his mom. Yeah. So me and Brandon started hanging out at that point. And from there, it was just it was on and poppin like, I was at his house all the time.
Nathan Sack 32:15
And this was when you’re younger, right?
Ian Thielman 32:16
We were younger. Yeah. And so we would sit in his bedroom. I would stay in his house sometimes for weeks at a time. Wore out my welcome until we got sick of each other. His mom and like, she always welcomed me and always accepted me for who I was, you know, I’m saying and whatnot. So always gonna have love for her in my heart amazing woman. So, but yeah, so we would hang out in his room, and we would just put on music. And we would just rap. We’d write stuff. We put the mirror up, we put on Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, or Spice 1 or whatever it was. And we would sit there and rap to the mirror. So that was kind of kind of our thing.
Nathan Sack 32:58
And so what about what about rap? I love rap. But I’m not like the type of person who is you know, I wouldn’t pick that as my first genre. I felt like rap gets to the point. And deals with heavy issues. It addresses heavy issues without apology.
Brandon Yohe 33:12
Basically, I mean, rap, it’s, it’s a freedom of expression. You can definitely tell people about what you’re going through and not feel ashamed. It’s just a good outlet, and always was a good outlet, especially for us being younger, you know what I mean? So, for the same way, though, when you start, you start using Jesus in your raps, it’s, you know, it’s gonna, it’s gonna go in places in areas that worship music ain’t gonna make it.
Nathan Sack 33:38
So what about what about, like, perhaps even maybe a meditation form? You know, it’s like a form of meditation, because you’re just throwing things at the wall.
Ian Thielman 33:46
Right? It’s an outlet. It’s an outlet like that. Yeah. And I think that’s what a lot of the two grown up is that it was our way of expressing ourselves. And getting stuff out of there. Because we, like we didn’t have like real like normal childhoods. We didn’t have teenagers me and Ian both didn’t go to high school. And we never stepped foot into one and so we didn’t have a prom. We didn’t have all that. So like, the music was kind of our thing to be able to like to get our feelings out there. You know, I’m saying to feel like we were doing something and had purpose and just to be real, you know, I’m saying and being heard.
Nathan Sack 34:22
Yeah, totally cool. Yeah.
Ian Thielman 34:25
And then you know, like, nowadays, it’s like music like you said, music is powerful by itself. And most songs that are just like normal like, you know, genres or styles. They’re going to have somewhat of a message to it you know, whether it’s love or whether it’s you know, I’m saying like, whatever the message is, but with rap, you can do so much with it, you know, and you can take you can personalize it, but not just personalize it, but you can tell more of a story. You know, like, we got a song that Brandon came up with called No Matter What You Do, and in the song He’s talking to a single mother. You know, she’s raising her kids on her own. He’s talking to a drug addicted thug, you know, saying I’m talking to a pregnant teenager that’s thinking about abortion. So like, you can’t like, it’d be hard to do that in a normal song where you’re just singing about it. You know, like, think about that.
Nathan Sack 35:17
You got to like smash words together to make that happen.
Brandon Yohe 35:21
Yeah, it just naturally kind of flows. I mean, yeah.
Nathan Sack 35:25
Do you guys know who Nicky Cruz is?
Ian Thielman 35:26
I’ve heard that name.
Nathan Sack 35:27
Okay, so anyway, The Cross and The Switchblade, David Wilkerson wrote a book called The Cross and The Switchblade.
Ian Thielman 35:33
I watched the movie.
Nathan Sack 35:35
So Nicky Cruz was the president of the Mau Maus. So he saved him. So anyway, so Nicky Cruz wrote a couple books after that, it’s called One Holy Fire. And then he wrote another book, but one of the ways that, that David Wilkerson or Nicky Cruz would help people get off of drugs and alcohol is that they get baptized in the Holy Spirit. And they’d say, you know, the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is greater than, than that other spirit. Because you’re dealing with the Spirit, you know, yeah. You really are. 100% dealing with something. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so Nikki Cruz, now he goes around in in New York, or he’s from like, from the Bronx or something like that. He goes around there and he does the sidewalk site, he like drops the side of a of a truck out and he calls it drive by drive by evangelism. Right? Because he’s not drive by shooting anymore for him his drive by because he used to do that, you know, right, shooting people, but anyway, but they they’ll just pull it out and they’ll have people rap prophesying to people. That’s, that’s legit. Yeah. I got a prophetic word for you. So it’s just however it relates to people but you don’t think that God can’t you know-
Brandon Yohe 36:57
Ian Thielman 36:59
You know, what’s funny is we’ve had people that, you know, bless their heart, you know, that have tried to say that what we were doing wasn’t of God. Or they tried to say, Oh, well, like, like that like this. You know, you’re not smiling. How can you show the love of Jesus? Yeah, well, this one, this is a serious topic. Yeah. It is a serious and it’s like, you don’t realize Jesus, like, like, God used a donkey, you know, I’m saying like, like, why can’t you use a different form of music? Right? You know, like, Why does it always have to fit into this box?
Brandon Yohe 37:31
Or cookie cutter man? Yeah, like, you got to smile all the time to be to be filled with the Holy Spirit or for be walking with God, which is not the truth. No, no. I mean, you cannot. You should have joy. Right? But that doesn’t mean smiling on your face. That’s not what joy is.
Ian Thielman 37:48
I think we fake it too much as Christians. We try to act like we’re, we’re always happy or we always got it together. But if that’s the case, then why do we need God?
Nathan Sack 37:58
Why don’t we need God? If that’s the case? Yeah. Jesus, Jesus was the one that flipped over the tables. I’m sure he had a smile on his face when he’s doing that. Yeah.
Ian Thielman 38:08
Exactly. Exactly. For real, like, obviously, like, there’s a, there’s a line, right? You don’t cross. But at the same time like you- God wants us to be real with Him, you know, and just come to Him, as we are, you know.
Nathan Sack 38:25
Well, that was also I’ve been playing, you know, I’ve been playing with the point of, like, it says in the Bible, that you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you come like a child, right? Become like a child. So well, if you’re, if you’re a son or daughter of God, okay, so like, I’m a son of God, I’m an heir to the throne of heaven. You know what, that’s who we are, you know, we’re heirs of the throne of heaven. You know, one of the best things that we can do is just go experiment with the kingdom of God. Okay, God, can I cross this line? Nope. But we have the grace to do that. You know, and I feel like, Christianity has tried to create boundaries that don’t even exist, you know, that God didn’t create, you know, and so like, what you’re talking about the creative expression is, you know, you kind of like, step on the lines. Hey, this line doesn’t, you know, it’s not religious. Let’s not be religious about this.
Ian Thielman 39:22
Yeah. Well, and one more thing I thought of when you were saying the line, right. I was, I don’t know. Because I think we were talking about the line. We were joking. The other day, we were doing this music video. I was like because we were in like a dirt floor. And I was like, I’m gonna, I said, Should I get out and draw a line like Jesus did. And it made me think about that the only person that has the right to draw a line is Jesus. And when He drew that line, He the first thing He told people was He who is without sin, you know, I’m saying throw the first stone, you know, and I think that’s where we have to start when we approach people. Like understanding like, hey, I know you see this in your brother, but like, what’s going on with you? Like what are you struggling with? Because you’re struggling with something too, like we all struggle with something.
Nathan Sack 40:04
Yeah, that’s so true. Yeah should write a song about that. The line, the line in the sand. Only one man can draw the line.
Ian Thielman 40:15
Can we have you in the music video. Like Jesus.
Brandon Yohe 40:19
Only one man can draw the line in the sand.
Nathan Sack 40:21
So after you came back to Shawnee Mission, it was it what 2020? You said right? July 2020 and then, three months later, you guys were or was it-
Ian Thielman 40:33
We moved in September 2020.
Nathan Sack 40:37
Yeah. And then September 2020. And then the two of you guys got back to, you know, just in touch. And so how did how did Faith Made Music come about? I mean, you came back to Shawnee Mission. And then what happened?
Ian Thielman 40:52
Well, and to go back a little bit, you know, me and Brandon, growing up, like we were both like heavily into music at a young age, which included us, you know, starting to write raps, and like our early teen years, and it continued throughout our life and was a huge part of like, who we were. And it was, like we said earlier is like an outlet. It was therapy for us. In a sense, even though we didn’t know, at the time we were, we thought we were just trying to be cool and whatnot, you know, I’m saying but, but God had a purpose for it. And, but then in our lives split apart when I moved to Arizona in 2004. And I didn’t see him for a long time. So and then, in 2011, after giving my heart to Jesus, I would wrestled with the fact of whether or not I should start doing rap music for the Lord. And so I wrote a song. And it didn’t have a beat to it or anything, but it was for God. And I showed it to my neighbor, who wasn’t a believer, but knew but knew about God. And he was and he told me how, how much it impacted him. And I was like, Okay, well, if that’s the case, then I need to do this. And then, of course, you know, I had my other people telling me that rap was of the devil, and I shouldn’t do it, you know? So I was like, whatever I’m doing it, you know, I’m doing it. So while attending an inner city church in Phoenix called Fire and Water International Church, I teamed up with a few other members there. And which is when Faith Made Music was kind of formed around 2016. And what’s crazy, I didn’t know this until yesterday when I was talking to Brandon. But he started to write raps for the Lord. And while he was in the Omega program around 2016, and he was doing stuff at the church and going in like, rapping in front of the congregation and stuff like that, just like we were in Phoenix. And so we did a few events at the church recorded a mixtape as Faith Made Music, and I really thought that Faith Made Music was going to do a lot of great things for God and Arizona. And, but along the way, people that were involved, kind of, they didn’t really have the same zeal as I did before. I really believed in it, I believed it was gonna go, you know, wherever God wanted to take it, and not that they were doing anything wrong. But they moved on. And so around that time, you know, after everybody went their separate ways, I knew God wasn’t done with Faith Made Music, and I kept holding on to that, to that dream. And then around that time is when me and the fam move back to Kansas. And, you know, it’s not by coincidence that me and Brandon, who both grew up in Ottawa together, ended up moving to Kansas, in the Kansas City area, you know, in the same time, because Kansas City is not where we were raised, it was in Ottawa. And so we came here in 2020, around the same time and on top of that, we were only five minutes from each other. Just crazy.
Nathan Sack 43:40
You can’t get much more of a coincidence than that, right?
Ian Thielman 43:43
And then keep in mind, like we hadn’t seen each other for 15 years, you know what I mean? Like, we didn’t plan that, but God knew. And so after reconnecting and realizing that we were both still doing music, and now we’re doing it for the Lord, we decided to write a song together. And no pun, but it was a rap after that. And so, so we then decided to start Faith Made Music officially as a business. We got licensed, we got our, you know, I mean, our EIN number and all that stuff, and we, we kind of made it more legit and became for the first time in our lives, actually, you know, instead of just making a thought we were going to put the work in that was needed to do it you know.
Nathan Sack 44:22
It’s a lot of work.
Ian Thielman 43:23
It’s crazy. You don’t even know until you get into it either.
Nathan Sack 44:27
The website, the EIN number, that promotion of the stuff, the creation of the product. Not to mention-
Brandon Yohe 44:36
Working a normal job at the same time.
Ian Thielman 44:39
Yeah. Raising kids, man. It’s like, Yeah, it’s crazy.
Nathan Sack 44:42
You have four kids now, right?
Ian Thielman 44:44
I have a 16-year-old Isaiah. My daughter, Haley, she’s 14. And then Isaac, he’s 11. And then our newest addition Elijah. He’s 2, so all across the board.
Brandon Yohe 44:56
Nathan Sack 45:57
And you have two right now?
Brandon Yohe 44:59
Yeah, my son Dominick he’s 17. He lives in Ottawa, Kansas with his mom. And then my daughter, Keeley Yohe, which is 13. She lives in Chanute. Kind of have to do the long-distance thing while I’m here. But yeah, you know, it is what it is.
Ian Thielman 45:14
So then we found this really awesome recording studio. It’s in Blue Springs, Missouri. It’s called GFM Recording Studios. It’s owned by two dudes, Brian and Nick. They kind of remind us a lot of ourselves. There’s a lot of similarities there. And their studio actually stands for God Family Music. But they record anybody you know what I’m saying?
Nathan Sack 45:36
That’s GFM in Blue Springs, God Family Music.
Ian Thielman 45:39
Yeah. So and so we found them online. And we started going there and created a really cool relationship with these dudes. And we recorded so far, we got 15 tracks that we’ve recorded through them. And so like, we invested in all the gear that we would need to shoot, produce our own music videos and content. And Brandon kind of heads that stuff up. Like he’s really good with the camera.
Nathan Sack 46:05
I’ve seen that online, yeah incredibly good.
Ian Thielman 46:07
Editing videos and stuff, you know.
Brandon Yohe 46:10
I’m learning as I go.
Ian Thielman 46:11
I’m just thankful. I’m so glad that God did it the way He did because I couldn’t imagine trying to do this whole thing. Like, by myself, I need accountability like I need help. And the fact that God reunited us-
Brandon Yohe 46:24
I think, I think a good a good way to kind of put our relationship is actually from the dudes at GFM studios how they say, they explained us-
Ian Thielman 46:33
They said that- so like Brandon is the type of dude that will like run towards the cliff. You know what I mean? And jump off the cliff. And I’m the one that’s like, pulling him back from the cliff a little bit. But we both end up at a place where we have a great view. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s true. Yeah. So like, we balance each other out.
Nathan Sack 46:54
It’s necessary, yeah.
Brandon Yohe 46:57
I’ll be like, let’s go. Ian’s like have we prayed? I’m like, no we haven’t.
Ian Thielman 47:08
It’s time to pray Bud. Let’s think about this. Give us some time.
Brandon Yohe 47:10
Let’s just put our helmets on and head in there head first.
Ian Thielman 47:14
But it’s good. Because we need that too. You know what I mean?
Brandon Yohe 47:17
Yeah, cuz I mean, honestly, there’s a point in life, you know what I mean? The talking is done. It’s time to go. Yeah, you know what I mean? So I’m like Ian, we’re done talking. Come on Bud.
Ian Thielman 47:27
That’s something I’ve always struggled with is like, having the confidence and stuff like, you know, we all still deal with our past to some degree, like God still working on us internally. We went through a lot as kids. And that doesn’t just go away overnight. And that’s the thing people don’t understand. Like when you come to Jesus. Yeah, He takes away certain things. And He does certain things. Something’s like, quick, and it’s like, automatic. And there’s other things, man, it just takes time. And the healing isn’t overnight. You know what I mean? Sometimes it’s a journey, slow motion miracle. You know what I mean?
Brandon Yohe 48:00
Almost all, that’s how I’ve walked with God. You know, I mean, there. Honestly, I don’t know of any instantaneous healings that I’ve had. But you know, that’s just the way I am. You know, God tries to slow me down a lot. You need to slow her down a little Bud. You know what I mean? But, like, Ian received healing, you know, from addiction. I can’t say I battle it daily. But it’s been known to flare back up in my life. You know what I mean, it’s an ongoing work that has to be done, you know? Got to keep that armor on, you know, keep that armor on.
Ian Thielman 48:34
There’s such a stigma in the church that the church is like, oh, we can’t talk about this. We can’t-
Nathan Sack 48:39
Dude. That’s why we have rap. Because they’re gonna bring it up about they’re gonna bring it up, you know, I mean, you guys are gonna bring it up, you know, you’re not gonna be afraid of the issue. You know what I mean?
Ian Thielman 48:50
Yeah. People that don’t want to be real and like, and just, yeah, do what they do with their stuff. You know, they’d rather just hide it away, and we’re not gonna get anywhere like that.
Nathan Sack 49:00
So you guys recorded 15 tracks with GFM so far and from what I’ve seen, you know, Brandon, you’ve just done an incredible job of just putting stuff outline on Facebook on a regular basis. And so how do you see that like, when you’re driving the when you’re driving that forward on Facebook? Because I’ve seen a lot of stuff about Faith Made Music and-
Brandon Yohe 49:21
Honestly, early on, I struggled with it. Like I was self-promoting, you know what I mean? Like, not being too prideful. And it’s just, that’s that religious spirit we got to stay out of, and if we’re doing it for Jesus, then none of that matters. As long as we’re pushing His name above ours that’s all that matters. So you know what I just got out of that mode, and I just started sharing, you know, and trying to be creative ways to capture audiences. One cool way we found is that that it seems like audiences like more a more personal video like we could share a whole music video and it won’t get but maybe 10 likes, you know what I mean? When you get a verse out of it? Yeah, you grab a little verse out of that. Take the camera, put it real close to your face and rap to the people. Like it’s crazy the difference, but I guess people, for one, it’s quicker. Everybody’s in such a- the times.
Nathan Sack 50:16
Yeah. Which makes perfect sense.
Brandon Yohe 50:20
Yeah, but I don’t know what it is, but it’s something that we’re going to kind of levitate towards and try to release more of just the little personal videos.
Nathan Sack 50:28
Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. Because so yeah, you did a great job of just getting out there. And then as far as like, Faith Made Music is right now. You guys have merchandise, is that correct?
Ian Thielman 50:40
So yeah, it’s just start now. But we have we have shirts right now. We have like a kit. So men and women’s shirts, you know, with the logo and the saying on the back, which is like music made by faith and God, increase the faith that God and others because that’s really, at the end of the day, when you boil it all down. That’s what we’re trying to do. You know, I’m saying so but yeah, so we have the shirts. So once we get rid of this, because our first batch of shirts, we went and bought like 100 and some odd shirts. Yeah, it was crazy. We got a good deal on them. Thank God, but it was our first thing we, we took a while to get the logo kind of figured out. And so we got the shirts ordered, and we’re still hanging on to them, because we haven’t done any events yet. So this whole time that we’ve been working on this, it’s just been kind of like, just preparing and getting your brand right, you know, getting everything right, getting everything ready. And I think God’s been doing something in our hearts to, to get us ready when we have that first opportunity to be able to go and administer to people through our music and through our story. You know what I’m saying?
Nathan Sack 51:46
So yeah, so the merchandise and that, what’s the website for Faith Made Music?
Ian Thielman 51:51
It’s a Faith Made Music.com
Nathan Sack 51:53
That’s too easy.
Ian Thielman 51:55
Good Faith Made Music.com
Nathan Sack 51:57
Way too easy. Tell him again, Faith Made Music just like it sounds right. Yeah. And then. So people want to get ahold of you. Either one of you. That’s probably the best way or, obviously find you guys on Facebook.
Ian Thielman 52:13
Yeah, Facebook too its Faith Made Music. And on the website, on the contact page, all of our contact information is there. There’s a contact form. If you want to just ask questions, you know, I’m saying so, but if you want to call us call us, whatever, like, yeah, we’re just normal people out here. You know, trying to do good. The good work for the Lord, you know? Yeah. So yeah, we’re available.
Nathan Sack 52:34
Well, thanks, guys for coming on the Faith Horizons podcast. It’s been really great getting to know you, Ian Thielman and Brandon Yohe.
Brandon Yohe 52:44
Thank you, Nathan.
Ian Thielman 52:45
Yeah, it’s been an honor man. Yeah, thank you.
Brandon Yohe 52:47
We appreciate this a lot, man
Nathan Sack 52:49
Thanks a lot. God bless, man. Thank you. God bless you. Wow, these two were so full of joy constantly overflowing with the laughter of their God and Heaven. Both of their journey started out rough. They both found God on their own paths. And now God has brought them back together as mighty men to speak life in true to those who will listen. Darkness flees in the kingdom of light advances as Faith Made Music shatters confusion and introduces the King of Kings Jesus Christ. Please follow and share Faith Made Music on Facebook, visit their website in the show notes and buy some merchandise to help move the mission forward. Also, if you’re interested in having them for an event, please contact them through the website or Facebook. God bless. Thank you so much for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. We look forward to sharing more conversations from the kingdom of God in Kansas City. If you’d like to partner with the Faith Horizons mission to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City, one conversation at a time. Please go to www.patreon.com forward slash faith horizons. Thank you so much.