Jesus Calling Podcast

Embracing Our Differences to Serve God Faithfully: Lil Mike and Funny Bone & Andy Dooley 

Lil Mike: People put Christians in a box all the time, like, they automatically put us all on the same boat. We’re all different, man. We all serve Christ, but we all serve Christ differently. 

Embracing Our Differences to Serve God Faithfully: Lil Mike and Funny Bone & Andy Dooley – Episode #332

Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Each one of us is uniquely made by God and given a specific life path. God wants us to celebrate the way He made us and serve Him with our different abilities. By embracing our differences and bridging our unique stories with our faith, we can help connect God’s love to more people.  

Our guests this week share with us how they’ve used their unique life paths to share God’s love with others—whether it’s with their communities or their family circle. Stars of the TV show Reservation Dogs, Lil Mike and Funny Bone, are Indigenous entertainers who have delighted audiences with their humor and talent on television and on stages across the country. Their personal stories of the challenges they’ve faced and their talent for the creative arts has helped create a bridge between their Christian faith and their culture.

Andy L. Dooley is a fitness influencer and author who found a way to connect his seemingly disparate gifts of athleticism and artistry to share his brand of hope and faith with the world. By allowing God to shape his life and embracing his differences, Andy found his purpose in teaching fitness to others through videos online and is beginning a newer journey of leading his family through a faith-filled life. 

Let’s begin with Lil Mike and Funny Bone. 

Funny Bone: Well, I’m Funny Bone. It’s an acronym for “Fully United New Nourish Young Brother of Noble Essence.” It’s a mouthful. But it basically just means I’m new and nourished through the Spirit of God and through His Word. And I’m of noble essence, being as I’m the son of the King of Kings. In His Word, it says we’re all children of God. 

Lil Mike: And I’m Lil Mike. I just used to dance like Michael Jackson, so they used to call me “Little Michael.”

We were raised in a Native American Southern Baptist Church. So we went to church every Sunday and sometimes Wednesdays, but we weren’t living it, and I don’t feel like we were actually present. Like, you can be somewhere and not be there. 

Early Examples of Violence and Abuse

Lil Mike: I was raised with a really strict father—very abusive verbally, physically, mentally. So we ran from home many times, trying to get away from that madness. And it really did some damage to my reflexes, or my actions towards others. 

Once therapy kind of set me right, I was just like, Yeah, I never want to be like my dad. And at that age I wish I wasn’t so gullible with joining a gang. Like, I had no problem with getting beat up or fighting people. Oh, I gotta get beat up to hang with y’all? That’s cool. I don’t know where my mind was when I was a child, but now that I see it, I’m like, Oh no, I would never do that. I was only in there for a year, I would say. And I was just like, Yeah, this life isn’t for me. 

Funny Bone: I guess you could say I’ve always wanted to be an actor, because I was always the class clown and I would always act out. So acting kind of came naturally. But once I saw my big brother [Lil Mike] doing music and hitting the stage, you know, I jumped into that.

Choosing a Way of Light Over Darkness

Lil Mike: My mother took me to a gospel gangster concert, and The Power Team was there, and they were out breaking bricks and bending steel. It was crazy, just their testimonies and then the testimonies from the gospel gangsters. And then hearing that kind of music, I was just like, All right. I want what they got. 

Funny Bone: Yeah. I’ll bang for a purpose. I’ll bang for God. But I’ll not bang for no color no more. 

Lil Mike: So, yeah, that’s kind of what really got me serious, is seeing followers of Christ in a gang mentality. That in itself kind of gave me a new purpose to be a follower of Christ. 

Funny Bone: We grew up in the city, so we relate more with urban folks. 

Lil Mike: Yeah. Like, you know, Jesus had twelve disciples, and He didn’t tell them, you know, “You got to be like this. You got to dress like this. We all got to look like in the same uniform or whatever.” He picked different people with different characters.

Funny Bone: Neither one of them was perfect, first off. I think each one had their own issues. 

Lil Mike: And He picked them for a reason. He didn’t want the same flavor.

Believers Using Entertainment to Reach People

Funny Bone: It’s cool because we’re seeing people on social media relating in different countries, relating to the reservation and the stories from Rez Dog. So they’re seeing their story in Reservation Dogs. It’s pretty awesome. We knew . . .

Lil Mike: We knew Indian Country was going to love it and go crazy for it, but we had no idea that the rest of the world . . . We even tried to have, like, a reservation accent, but that didn’t go as well as I thought it would. So they just basically said, “Just do you.”

Funny Bone: We actually suggested to the director, he was cool enough to be flexible with our beliefs to not want to cuss. Because when we saw the script, we wanted to clean it up.

Lil Mike: [There were] a little couple of lines in there where we were like, “Yeah, we can’t say that.”

Funny Bone: We like to be living examples of what we speak about in our music. You know, we talk about not drinking, not smoking. And when you see us out in public, we are not drinking and not smoking. That’s something we don’t really believe in.

“Something that’s real cool in the Indigenous community: a lot of the beliefs line up with the Word, to be thankful in all things and to pray in all things.” – Funny Bone

That’s something that’s real cool in the Indigenous community: a lot of the beliefs line up with the Word, to be thankful in all things and to pray in all things, respect your elders. 

Lil Mike: We just like to be that difference there with all that. 

Funny Bone: We want to inspire other people to be bold for Christ how we are and to use whatever that they’re blessed with.

We are Christian and we’re believers, but we’re not like trying to push it down everybody else’s throat. We’ll let them ask questions and let them see for themselves through our lifestyle. It lines up with the Bible. So it’s pretty awesome once you start looking at it. 

Advocating for Indigenous People

Funny Bone: Because of all the issues that Indigenous people are facing and the things that we’re going through, we just wanted to use our platform to give a voice to the voiceless, because we have one of the highest rates of suicide in Indigenous communities, the highest rate of missing and murdered people. There’s a lot of issues.

Lil Mike: So many subjects coming up like against suicide on the rez, against drug use, the clean water issues, like . . .

Funny Bone: All that. 

Lil Mike: All of that. And it just hit us in the right spot to where, like, We want to do more, but we don’t know exactly how. And so . . .

Funny Bone: [We decided to] take a first step and write a song. Use what we have. That’s basically all we’re doing is using what we have. 

Lil Mike: God gave us talent to put catchy hooks in people’s minds. And if that catchy hook changes somebody’s mind, then maybe that’s the link.

“God gave us talent to put catchy hooks in people’s minds. And if that catchy hook changes somebody’s mind, then maybe that’s the link.” – Lil Mike

Funny Bone: And the “Fist in the Air,” the reason we wrote that as more an anthem sound and not like a sad song is because there’s so many other songs out there about that that are just sad, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But we didn’t want to add to that. We wanted something that would move people to rise up and to research the issue and to rise up and make a move for better.

In some places, it is changing and it’s getting better. But there’s other locations that are still suffering from systematic oppression, and there needs to be some changes.

Lil Mike: We are honorable people. We just want to be respected. 

Funny Bone: We’re just looking for equality and justice. We just want peace, and we want clean drinking water, and running electricity on our reservations. I mean, there’s enough resources on this planet for everybody to live happily. And that’s what we need people to realize, like, there’s enough for all of us. 

An Attitude of Prayer and Thanksgiving

Funny Bone: One thing I do is I read a couple verses, wake up, and thank God for the day. And our music playlist is all faith-based artists. So whether it’s pop, R&B, or heavy metal or hip hop, I mean, we’re always praising God when we’re riding or through social media. 

We like to post wisdom on our social media platforms too, to help spread a little love and other than that . . . I mean, what else do you have?

Lil Mike: Yeah, like you said, I mean it. It’s almost like a reflex or not knowingly doing it. I mean, there’s been times where I got out of bed and my back popped, and I go, Oh, thank you Jesus. It’s so natural. 

I’m praying for healing, I’m praying for patience. And then praying that our music has some form of effect on people. 

Funny Bone: I’ve been praying for healing. I think that’s something we both kind of really been praying for, because this year we’ve seen a lot of answered prayers.

Lil Mike: Jesus Listens, February 27th:

Dear Jesus,

You are my best Friend as well as my King. I want to walk hand in hand with You through my life. Please help me face whatever today brings—pleasures, hardships, adventures, disappointments—relying on You each step of the way. I know that nothing is wasted when it’s shared with You. You can bring a crown of beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams. You can glean Joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this marvelous metamorphosis. There is no other like You, Lord!

In Your awesome Name,


Narrator: You can hear Lil Mike and Funny Bone’s music, and find out where to view seasons of Reservation Dogs at

Stay tuned to Andy Dooley’s story after a brief message.

Teach Children to Pray with Jesus Listens for Kids

Jesus Calling podcast 327 featuring Jesus Listens & Jesus Listens for Kids - lifestyle photo - JL for Kids 1

Jesus Listens, the 365-day prayer devotional from Sarah Young, is now available for children!

This book invites your children—and you—into an ongoing conversation with God, growing a meaningful prayer life and a closer relationship with Him.

Kids ages 8 – 12 will learn how to pray honest prayers and know that Jesus is always listening to them. This book will equip parents who want to teach their kids how to pray and talk to God, reassure their children that God is always with them, and help their kids to read Bible verses each day.

Order your copy of Jesus Listens for Kids today.

Narrator: Our next guest is fitness influencer and entrepreneur Andy Dooley, who’s been working with families for over eighteen years in the sports and ministry spaces. He’s passionate about helping families connect and interact with each other in real, life-changing ways, and opening honest conversations with each other—modeled after the ways he leads his own family, which he writes about in his latest devotional, Building a Family of Faith.

Andy Dooley: Hi, my name is Andy Dooley. I’m a husband, father of four beautiful kids. I’m a fitness coach and author, influencer, and entrepreneur. I just love to create, to remind people that they matter in all facets, through social media, through my interactions with people, fitness, and just every day. 

My three pillars are faith, family, and fitness. And that’s what I try to do. I create education and entertainment and encouragement and elevate people and empower people through what I do on my social media. 

Discipline & Intentionality Has a Role in Our Faith

I grew up in a household with my dad and my mom. They were both pastors. My father was in the military as well. And he was a chaplain in the military, so you can imagine our house. A lot of people thought our house would probably be so rigid and so strict, but it wasn’t. My mom and dad found a way to make it fun but still instilled discipline in our life. And for me, it was interesting watching them and growing up in a house that way. 

Jesus Calling podcast 332 featuring Andy Dooley

I enjoy spending time with my family. Our family is a close unit. So when I was working at a gym, I’m gone like fifty hours out of the week, away from the house. So when I would come home from work, then I would spend an additional twenty, twenty-five hours working on getting myself into a place to be able to work from home so that I could have flexibility to give to the family. And in 2020, we were forced—due to the pandemic—to teach from home, do homeschooling. And I got to be the PE teacher for the kids and spend time with them on their homework and just get intentional. And because I have a flexible schedule, I was able to make that happen. 

When I wake up in the morning, I make sure I have my study time in the Bible, then walk the kids to school, go to the gym, and then come back. And there’s certain times that—my wife is in school right now. She’s studying, I’m doing work. And then we know at a certain period of time we go pick up the kids, we spend intentional time with them. They come home, do their homework, go outside and play, and do the nighttime duties to get them ready, shower, get their stuff for school ready. And then my wife and I get an additional hour, hour and a half, or whatever we need of work and study. And so we just do it that way. And we do this thing we call the “GP,” game plan, the night before, look at our schedules and just take it one day at a time. 

Just the other day, my daughter came to me and she’s like, “Dad, I want to get baptized.” You know, she was in a tub and she was like, “Can we do it here right now?” 

And I brought my wife and spoke to her and I said, “Do you really understand what baptized means?” It was just great to see the wheels turning and we had the conversation going so that when we come to a moment to actually have it done, she’d know exactly what she’s doing and why she’s doing it, because she saw it. 

We took a little vacation this summer, just went to the beach. And my mother-in-law wanted to be baptized, so we baptized her in the ocean. And it was beautiful. It was such a special moment, and it was on her birthday. It was just awesome. And the kids got to watch their mom and dad do that for their Grammy, you know? So just being able to watch them ask questions and find relationship with God in their way is just cool. And it starts with us as parents just modeling it, exposing them to it, and having time together and just showing them how cool God really is.

“Just being able to watch [our kids] ask questions and find relationship with God in their way is just cool. And it starts with us as parents just modeling it, exposing them to it, and having time together and just showing them how cool God really is.” – Andy Dooley

Pray Without Ceasing

I still feel, even throughout the journey, He’s still unveiling and showing me more. I don’t feel like I have it all down. I don’t feel like, Oh, it’s just this, nothing else. But I’m just sitting in the passenger seat and letting God drive this vehicle. 

That’s why I’m trying to make sure I start my day off with a devotional and spending time with God because I can feel the difference when I don’t, you know? But with our schedules, I also realize there are seasons where I didn’t start the day off with it and have to find a way to make it happen in the evening time. Just making sure I do it, because if you start making it a point to have a devotional in that family time and spend that time even with yourself—throughout the day, you could just talk to God. Prayer isn’t just one time. You know, prayer can be throughout the day. You can just talk to God while you’re driving. You could just talk to God while you’re at the gym. Or you have thoughts or decisions or you’re going through a certain situation in a season in your life, God wants to hear from you on a regular basis. So that’s what I love about devotional time or prayer.

“Prayer isn’t just one time. You know, prayer can be throughout the day. You can just talk to God while you’re driving. You could just talk to God while you’re at the gym.” – Andy Dooley

And prayer has impacted my life because it cultivates and strengthens my faith in God. It strengthens my faith to know I can just lean on God. God’s got His arms wide open, wants me to lay in His arms, and He can hold me during the tough times. He wants to hear from me, and I treat it as a dialog, not a monologue. I don’t just talk to Him and then get out of the way. I pray and then I’ll sit there, meditate, or ask Him throughout the day, “Lord, what are my steps so that I’m in your perfect will? Help me to navigate throughout the day, taking every single step that you want me to take.”

Jesus Listens, October 14:

Lord Jesus,

There’s a mighty battle going on for control of my mind. Heaven and earth intersect in my brain; I can feel the influence of both realms tugging at my thoughts. Thank You, Lord, for creating me with the capacity to experience tiny foretastes of heaven. When I shut out distractions and focus on Your Presence, I can enjoy sitting with You in the heavenly realms. This is an incredible privilege reserved for those who belong to You and seek Your Face. You have instilled in me a strong desire to spend time communing with You. As I concentrate on You and Your Word, Your Spirit fills my mind with Life and Peace.


Narrator: You can find Andy Dooley’s new book, Building a Family of Faith, anywhere you buy books.

If you’d like to hear more stories about embracing your uniqueness for God, check out our interview with Dr. Derwin Gray.

Next Week:  Nikki DeLoach

Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast, we’ll hear from Hallmark actress Nikki DeLoach about how she fell in love with storytelling, how her faith got her through some uncertain moments in life, and how she and her family are looking forward to celebrating the holidays. 

Nikki DeLoach: My family, we really go there for Christmas. We do the Christmas tree farm. We get the real tree. We do all the decorations. We do the ugly Christmas sweaters every single night for two weeks leading up to Christmas. You know, we watch a holiday movie, we do the cookies. Hallmark has taught me really how to celebrate Christmas in that way.

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