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A Life Redeemed: Jeff Allen’s Journey to Meaningful Life (ep. 600)

Jeff Allen

John O’Leary welcomes comedian Jeff Allen on the Live Inspired Podcast to share hope and encouragement to those who feel frustrated, empty, and unfulfilled.

Over the past four decades, Jeff Allen has been recognized for his clean, family-friendly comedy celebrating everyday life, the ups & downs of marriage, the challenge of raising children, the bliss of the empty nest, the joys of being a grandparent and more.

Known for coining the phrase “happy wife, happy life,” Jeff believes that his story, though not without its challenges, can provide hope and encouragement to those who feel frustrated, empty, and unfulfilled.

Today, Jeff candidly shares some of his darkest moments, his journey to hitting rock bottom and how he overcome addiction and despair to find the joy in life and a strengthened relationship with God.

My friends, this conversation is a reminder that no matter how dark and difficult life may seem, there is always hope that the best of our days remain ahead of us.

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  • Growing up, Jeff’s mother was devout in her faith, yet his father was a staunch atheist.
  • Tikkun olam: God knows the world is broken, and what are you doing to repair the world?
  • When Jeff first entered Alcoholics Anonymous at 25 years old, he’d then binge drink while traveling for shows. When he was in Boston, he’d perform five shows on Friday and Saturday and have a dealer waiting with a Crown Royale bag filled with cocaine.
  • “Even the most devout atheist has a conscience.” In one of his darkest moments, Jeff asked his wife Tami to take him to AA and he hasn’t left in 25 years.
  • “There’s a distance between that man and who I am today.”
  • “I was an uneducated ignoramus. I used to say the only thing that exceeded my arrogance was my ignorance so I started reading voraciously.”
  • Although not a widely recognized vice, Jeff replaced his addictions with golf. He justifies it’s an addiction because it takes your mind and your heart away from your family and those that love you.
  • The golf course led him to rediscover his faith after God put loving husband and loving father in his path. Phil was a perfect example of the kind of man he wanted to become.
  • “In order for something finite to have meaning, it has to be attached to something infinite and fixed.”
  • Get a copy of Jeff Allen’s book Are We There Yet? here.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

You’ll love my conversation with Patricia Heaton. As one of TV’s most recognizable and beloved female leads from her role as Debra Barone on the long-standing comedy Everybody Loves Raymond, Patricia reminds us that no matter what stage of life we’re in, crisis can serve as a golden opportunity for reinvention. Listen to Patricia Heaton on ep. 282 now.


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  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Bible and Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. I'd like to be a peacemaker more.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Tami's knitting or crochet.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Ravi Zacharias.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Read. Fill your head with knowledge.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Read. Then you have references to talk about and how to find humor in the mundane.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. Not finished yet.