HERE IS WHAT DADS MUST START DOING (BUT SO MANY WILL NOT)

There are fathers who will get no phone call tomorrow. No hug from their son or daughter. They will sit in the house, probably watching TV and gulping down beer. It will be like last year’s Father’s Day: lonely and sad.

For some of those fathers, it will not be their fault. Their child is mad at them for whatever reason. Perhaps dad didn’t loan them money when requested, or some other reason. Nevertheless, dad will sit and sulk tomorrow. Millions of dads will have no call or company.

However, for some of those dads – millions of them actually – dad will simply be reaping what he sowed. He failed to do some of those things that could have made tomorrow a bright and special day.

In my 35-years as a cop, and 45 in the ministry, I made contact with thousands and thousands of dads. Time and time again I stood in living rooms at a domestic disturbance, or out in the yard trying to counsel a troubled dad.

After a “gazillion” conversations with dads, sons, and daughters, here is what I noticed:

1-    LACK OF AFFECTION. I never quite understood this one. But time after time I dealt with dads who simply could not bring themselves to hug or even shake the hand of their child. I once read about a study conducted by a major university. Their research revealed that children need about “8 to 15 meaningful touches every day.” I constantly spoke with kids who could not remember dad ever having shook their hand or hugged their neck.

Dad, it may be that your father failed in this area and that you simply never learned how to be affectionate. Well, sir, you have a choice: you can either break out of that cold coffin you are lying in, and embrace your child, or, you can carry on as usual – and leave your child with the memory of a cold, distant father.

Dad, let me suggest, in the words of an old AT&T commercial: Reach out and touch someone.

2-    NO WORDS OF APPROVAL OR ENCOURAGEMENT. Here’s another one that is conspicuously absent in today’s homes. There’s little, hardly any, affirmation. Dad fails to express his pleasure and delight in his children. Dad fails to tell the child how much he loves him or her. Dad hardly ever expresses pride in the child. In these homes you will seldom hear dad say, “Son (daughter), I am proud of you.”

I used to pastor a church. One night one of my members came to eat supper with me. He was young enough to be my son. His dad was a deacon at the church when I first accepted the call to serve as pastor.

“Pastor,” he said thorough a sorrowful voice, “my dad never tells me that he’s proud of me. And he never hugs me.”

My friend John is a very successful police officer in Arkansas. He could be a chief at just about any department in the nation. I visit him often when I go back home to Arkansas. On numerous occasions he has shared with me how disappointed he is that his dad never held him, or communicated to him that he was proud of him. There is no excuse for this.

3-    NO INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR LIFE. I witnessed this often. Kids whose dad never attended their games, recitals, band performances – and the list goes on. Lack of parental involvement in the lives of their kids is an epidemic in the United States.

Dad, your kid’s games may not be as interesting as watching your favorite football team, or even as much fun as playing on your iPad; but your lack of involvement in your kid’s life is unacceptable. You will never know the pain that child feels when he looks into the stands… and does NOT see you.

I find it very interesting that before Jesus began his ministry, there were three things that God the Father told him:

-       You are My Son

-       I love you

-       I am pleased with you

Dad – if Jesus needed to be told these things before he started his life’s calling, don’t you think it might be wise to communicate the same to your child before they head out into the world?

There is so much more I could say about this subject. Dad, you can turn things around today. TODAY. Maybe this Father’s Day could be different. Perhaps you could summon up some courage and reach out to that daughter, that son. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but, if you endure, it may reap great dividends.

I wish you the best.

GUNS IN CHURCH! MAY GOD HELP US

Do you recognize the man standing next to me in this photo? His name is Stephen Willeford. Stephen is the one who shot the killer who took 26 lives at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas last November. I spent an hour with him recently. His love for Jesus was evident.

Stephen was at his house, not too far from the church, when he was alerted to the gunfire. Though barefoot, he grabbed his rifle and headed that way, with no regard for his own life - but driven by love for his fellow citizens.

Stephen is a true Sheepdog.

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I also got to meet David while I was in Sutherland Springs (left photo). David was shot 8 times in the church that day, but somehow managed to survive. In spite of enduring such horror, his faith in Jesus is absolutely stunning. Life pours forth from him. 

David, along with the pastor of the church, Frank Pomeroy, recently joined me in a Facebook Live Event from the church (watch it here).

When I began this “sheepdog thing” I thought everybody would be appreciative. I just assumed they would be grateful for my desire to help them protect their flock from being gunned down in cold blood, or their children from sex crimes. Are those not noble concepts?

I never expected some of the reactions we have gotten.

However, in the process of running around the country conducting these seminars, I discovered something: There is a disorder that is slowly, but surely, affecting a lot of people. It’s called N.T.D. - “Non-Thinking-Disorder.”

Its “victims” are everywhere, but mostly confined to a few select groups, including, but not limited to:

·      church people

·      celebrities 

·      politicians

I recently read a blog by a man who possibly suffers from this disorder. He had attended one of our seminars. As he wrote about his experience, it clearly revealed he might had contracted this disorder. He criticized us for our belief that to have a fighting chance against killers who come to your church, you might want to consider having an armed response. A gun inside a house of worship seemed to greatly offend him.

He argued that we should “turn the other cheek.” It was obvious that he had not given too much study to what Jesus actually meant, nor its context. As so many others do, he isolated the text and tried to build an entire doctrine on this single verse.

Apparently, he believes that we should simply allow these killers to enter our houses of worship and kill at will.

He ignored about 90% of what we had taught at the seminar. For example, he failed to address our presentation on protecting children from sex crimes (a terrible problem in churches across the country). He also failed to mention other ideas we promoted that might help stop a massacre, other than an armed response.

Perhaps worst of all, however, he had no idea that his “disorder” was promoting cowardice.

It also appeared that he believed everyone who is gunned down in a house of worship gets a free ticket to heaven. After all, they’re “dying for Jesus.” And if they love Jesus, they will simply “turn the other cheek” while the murderer has his way.

It was obvious that he had failed to do his homework. If he had, he would have soon discovered that less than 10% of the killings on faith-based property are motivated by religious persecution. In other words, these killers are not mad at Jesus or the gospel. On the contrary, they’re usually angry at their spouse, or another family member (as was the case in Sutherland Springs, Texas last November).

And I suspect that he’s never thought through another matter...

Suppose there are five visitors at your church one Sunday when a gunman enters and begins his killing spree. Let’s say these visitors are not believers but have simply come to hear the gospel. However, the unexpected took place - and all five are murdered in cold blood. Now they are rushed off into eternity to meet their Maker – totally unprepared.

Let’s say you – or perhaps our blogger - were in attendance on that bloody Sunday. But you are a pacifist. You just stood there – or hid – in the name of your belief, while innocent lives were swept off the earth. You did nothing to stop it.

These are the deadly symptoms of your “disorder.”

You are opposed to an armed response. Or for that matter, you’re possibly opposed to any form of resistance. You advocate a faith that doesn’t exist in holy writ. You fail to understand that when there is legitimate faith, there is a “work” that will support it: for “faith without WORKS is dead.”

You had no chance of stopping these guys because of a faulty belief that has taken root in your mind. You also allowed your misinterpretation of scripture to rob you of the love that you should have for innocent victims of violent crimes. Thus, you not only have N.T.D. – you also suffer from L.O.L.D. (Lack of Love Disorder).

This blogger in question called attention to Jesus’ command to “turn the other cheek.” This is the one verse that the N.T.D. folks hang their hat on.

But here is the challenge I would issue to them: If you are going to take these words of Christ seriously, are you not also bound to give heed to the other ones, such as –

·      You will need to sell all of your goods and give the proceeds to the poor ... (Luke 12)

·      You will also need to quit burying your loved ones when they die ... (Luke 9)

That’s just a couple of verses: I could give a whole lot more. For example, some call attention to Jesus' declaration that if you "live by the sword, you will die by the sword." This, of course, is true. But look carefully at His words. To LIVE by the sword means to adopt as one's lifestyle the way of the sword, or violence. If your way of life is constantly intertwined with violence, you stand a greater chance of dying a cruel, violent death. Membership in a street gang is proof of this. 

A serious study of Jesus' words (about turning the cheek) would reveal to us that Jesus was referring to acts of retaliation: he was not issuing a prohibition against self-defense. Retaliation, plotting revenge, "getting back" at our enemies; these are the acts that are forbidden. Retaliation and Revenge is God's business (Romans 12).

Paul the Apostle would later help us understand this. In Romans 12:18 he wrote, " If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Did you catch the opening words of his words: "IF IT BE POSSIBLE..." Paul understands that it's not always possible to be at peace with others, and conflict is sometimes unavoidable. 

Imagine where we would be today if our forefathers, those of the Greatest Generation, had adopted the N.T.D. way of thinking. They would have stayed on home soil, refusing to fight Nazism. And just where would the world be today if that had been the case?

C.S. Lewis was right:

"I can respect an honest pacifist, though I think he is entirely mistaken."

And what would you do with the teachings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran Pastor who died because of his stance against evil? Bonhoeffer, recognizing the evils of Hitler, actually joined in a plot to assassinate him. Let his words sink in –

“If I sit next to a madman as he drives a car into a group of innocent bystanders, I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”

Will you wrestle the steering wheel away from the madman behind the wheel (or the gun)? Or do you think it Christlike to sit and watch the slaughter. Will your conscience trouble you in the least as you stare at those coffins, knowing that you might have been able to do something, had not your faulty beliefs taken root?

And what will you do with the author of half of the New Testament, Paul the Apostle? When Paul learned from his nephew that a group of men had vowed to not eat until he was dead, he did not resort to passivity. On the contrary. He made no mention of turning the other cheek. Instead, he instructed his nephew to summon the police.

“Paul,” our blogger might ask, “Where is your faith?” The police did indeed respond to Paul’s plea. Several hundred ARMED GUARDS took custody of Paul to guarantee his safety (Acts 23).

I hold no grudge against this dear brother blogger. This is common thinking among the sheep. 

There is another error these N.T.D. “victims” espouse. They are quick to say that “no guns should be allowed in God’s house.”  It is stated by those who have not dug into the scripture and learned what “God’s House” is.

Has it ever dawned on you that every single time the word “church” is mentioned in the New Testament, it is a reference to the “People of God” – not a physical structure with a steeple on top - and the word “church” on a sign out front?

·      Hebrews 3:6 states “we are His house.”

·      Acts 7:48 “...the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands...”

To believe that the Lord will protect us while we are in a house of worship, is not spirituality – it is superstition!

I have actually heard people say, on more than one occasion, that God will protect us when we are in His house. They further argue that all that is needed is “faith.”

I’ve even heard this statement from men who serve as pastors, who have a degree from seminary! My goodness – how did you draw such a conclusion, in light of the lack of scriptural evidence in the Bible?

Furthermore, are you paying no attention to the news? What will you say to ...

·      The precious, God-fearing people at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, who endured the tragic loss of 26 of their fellow members: gunned down in a “house of worship.”

·      What will you say to the suffering saints in Nigeria, who have endured the destruction of more than 1000 houses of worship since 2012?

Truth be told, a house of worship is no different than a Wal-Mart or a local bar. They are mere buildings. Your Father’s House is YOU! Yes, He dwells in your heart by His Blessed Spirit.

Let me ask you something: if “faith” is the only weapon necessary, then why do you wear a seatbelt? Why do you lock the doors of your house before bedtime? Why keep your kids near when shopping? Why not “entrust them to the Lord,” and allow them to wander about the store, while you shop? WHERE IS YOUR FAITH??

I could go on and on with such examples. Alas, “faith” continues to dumb down the saints.

I am NOT saying that you must be armed. I am not a gun fanatic. I own two guns. If you want to bore me, bring me to your house and show me your gun collection. I’ll doze off in a matter of minutes. No, I am not a gun fanatic. But I am fanatical about loving people. I advocate for the Second AMENDMENT because I believe in the Second COMMANDMENT. I love people, enough to protect them when possible. "Love always protects," 1 Corinthians 13 tells us.

And religious people are not the only ones who suffer from N.T.D. Celebrities and politicians are some of its worst “victims.”

We could all name a few Hollywood folks who suffer terribly from this disorder. You see it manifest when a mass killing takes place and they blame everyone but the killer -

  • They blame the President
  • They blame the gun enthusiasts
  • They blame the NRA (I am not a member of the NRA and the number of gun shows I’ve been to can be counted on one hand).

That leads us to a discussion about another symptom that often comes with N.T.D: hypocrisy.

Let me explain...

Many politicians and celebrities often want to ban everyone’s guns – EXCEPT THE ONES USED TO PROTECT THEM!

If you doubt this, just try to get close to a celebrity next time one is around. Or, try to approach the president for an autograph. And then see what happens.

There’s an arsenal around the White House, as there is in the lives of celebrities. The entourage that protects these “stars” have weapons of all kinds inside that coat.

And I am ok that...

Mr. or Ms. Celebrity, I believe in your right to have armed protection. In view of your fame, your wise to do so. Beatle Legend George Harrison was once attacked inside his house. A man broke in and stabbed Harrison about 40 times. Harrison had no means to protect himself. All he could do was cry “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna” in a vain attempt to stop him.

We actually had a someone tell us that if a shooter enters the sanctuary, we only need to stand up and say to him, "In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you." She was confident that if we did so, our would-be killer would comply, and lay down his weapon.

N.T.D. folks constantly decry the weapons. They actually believe if we rid the world of AR-15s, it would decrease the killings. But then facts get in the way of their belief: The Virginia Tech killer used two handguns: the killer at the school in Sante Fe, Texas used a shotgun and pistol (I do not own an AR-15).

I am not saying that we do not need to reconsider some new gun laws. But heck, it might help to enforce some of the ones we already have. 

But there is something you N.T.D.s "victims" must come to grips with: people with evil intent will not have a change of heart because of the passage, or existence, of a law! 

There are laws all over this country that dictate speed limits, yet, in spite of these regulations, and the signs posted along the roadway, still, over 100,000 people are ticketed every day for speeding.

This shows us something. N.T.D. has a terrible side effect: it blinds one to the wickedness that lies in the ... H-E-A-R-T.

It fails to see that if one has murder IN HIS HEART, he will find a way to fulfill his evil desire, whether by the use of a gun, a knife, or even a pencil (I use “pencil” as an illustration because of an incident I saw when I was a school cop. “Stephen” got mad at a fellow classmate because he mocked Stephen’s favorite band. So, Stephen grabbed a pencil and stabbed the kid in the hand).

If you don’t want to have an armed response in your church, that’s perfectly fine. There are other options. Consider pepper spray, or a Taser, and by all means, attend some legit training. Learn some “take down” moves.” And whatever else you do, make sure you fine tune your verbal skills.

But for heaven’s sake, and for love of your fellow man, do something! Rid yourself of this awful disease before it’s too late. The wolf doesn’t care about your beliefs. He’s coming to kill. You may be willing to die for your beliefs, or turn your cheek, but that does not mean that everyone in the room with you has the same attitude.

Let me remind the men of one more important matter. Genesis 2:15 tells us that God put the man in the Garden to "work it and to keep it." The word "keep" is quite interesting. It means to "defend, protect, save life." Brother - are you catching this? One of your purposes on this earth is to defend the lives of others, to protect them, to save them. 

I remind you that you were made in the image of God. Exodus 15:3 tells us that "The Lord is a Warrior." Thus, if you are made in his image, you, too, are a warrior: you are called to protect the innocent!

I am sorry that we have to think this way. I am sorry that we have to put police officers in schools; I am sorry that we have to consider having armed people in the church. I grieve that it is this way. But this is the world we live in, a world, the Apostle John said, "...lies under the power of the evil one" (1 John 5). 

I shed tears over this violence almost everyday. My emotions are shot, my heart is heavy, my eyes ache for lack of sleep. THIS VIOLENCE IN OUR WORLD IS AWFUL! My Father knows my heart. And I am confident that though the press - and even fellow believers - will attack me relentlessly on this matter, I am called to stand strong in my defense of the victims of violent crimes. I have, like Queen Esther, come into the kingdom "for such a time as this." (and ... so ... have ... YOU ...).

I wish it were as easy as a brother in Oregon once told me. He said if a killer gunman walked into the church, he would simply verbally de-escalate him. Oh my, I thought, he has no understanding of the potential for evil that lies in the hearts of these killers.

If you have serious intentions about stopping these killers, you will need to consider an armed response. That may mean you hire an off-duty police officer or a security guard. The reason for this is simple: these killers are coming to church with guns, and, as my title says, "May God Help Us." May He help us do what is right - and safe - for our flock.

I can agree with my blogger to a certain point. I believe that our love for Jesus must take top priority. And to that I would call attention to Jesus' words when He asked Peter if he loved Him. "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus told him to prove it by taking care of His sheep

Let us do likewise.


UPCOMING SEMINARS

 

Denver Police Officer Antonio Milo brought his gun to church one Sunday. And are they glad he did! Watch this video.

Sheepdogs Are Good At Dealing With ... POOP (Like Jesus Was)

When trying to decide who should serve on your church safety team, there are certain character traits in their life that should stand out. If you do not see a certain kind of fruit growing on their tree, it would be best if you did not let them on the team. And if these traits are absent from those on your team, it’s time for a discussion.

You will never a compose a team of perfect people, but you certainly want to get as close as possible. This team, who assumes responsibility for the safety of the flock, has to be men and women of a particular type of caliber. If you fail to adhere to this rule, you may have someone on the team who is more of a burden than a blessing.

In my travels across the country (as of today, we’ve conducted Sheepdog Seminars in about 40 states), I have met more than one person who was on a church safety team, but probably shouldn’t have been.

Just as it is important that the leadership on your church staff possesses certain marks of character, it is equally important that those on your safety team also have manifested a type of character that honors your church and its reputation.

Remember: the members of your team are often the first to make contact with those who come to church.  In light of this, the reputation of your church is at stake. It is wrong to judge; however, people will do it anyway. Knowing this, you must ensure that men and women of quality character are leading the way.

If I were responsible for forming a team, there is one trait that I would seek above others. If this particular feature does not stand out in their life, we will have a problem.

And what is that character trait of which I speak? They must be willing to wear a towel.

I don’t care if he wears ironed and pressed blue jeans, or if she is donning the prettiest dress in the house: if they are not wearing a towel, they cannot be on the team.

“A towel?” you ask. “What could you possibly mean by that?”

The towel is the symbol of servanthood and indicates your willingness to be the servant of all.

No one understood this better than Jesus. Read it for yourself:

“…he (Jesus) got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:4-5 – emphasis mine)

There, you have it. The Son God - God in the flesh - Jesus, the Creator of all mankind. Jesus Christ, who hangs the world on nothing and hurls the stars in their place: who created the rivers by running his finger down the side of the earth - and made the mountains by pinching the dirt! Of him we used to sing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

 
 I went an bought me a towel the other day and wrote this on it. I try to wear it at every seminar. This idea of the towel - serving - must take precedence in our lives.

I went an bought me a towel the other day and wrote this on it. I try to wear it at every seminar. This idea of the towel - serving - must take precedence in our lives.

 

This Jesus, who has ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY…used his power to…wash feet.

In Jesus’ day the streets were filled with “poop.” In the place of cars cruising the roadways, there were oxen, horses, donkeys, camels, and herds of sheep being led about. These animals had no shame, and left their poop all about the city. As a result, a walk through any community caked the feet with poop and dirt.

Have you given this much thought: when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, he was removing the dung and dirt from their smelly feet.

This may be why Peter, at first, rejected Jesus’ offer to wash his feet. He knew they reeked of such a foul odor. Peter knew, and had confessed, that Jesus was the Son of God, the Holy One, the Messiah. He wouldn’t dare allow him to wash the dung and dirt from his feet.

But Jesus had to show what true leadership (sheep dogging) looked like.

So, you want to be on the church safety team? Let me ask you: Are you willing to deal with “dirt and dung?”

Will you kneel before your brothers and sisters – and even the stranger who may not know Christ – and wash their smelly, stinky feet? If such willingness is no part of you, then do yourself – and the kingdom – a favor: resign.

Jesus went on to tell his disciples that they were to do as he had done. If he, the Son of God, was willing to stoop to such a “low,” then his disciples (church safety team members??), should be willing to do likewise.

Washing feet was reserved for the lowliest of servants. I have read some accounts of where the act was reserved not for the servants of the house, but for the servants of the servants.

I have encountered sheepdogs who exuded a sense of superiority. They acted as if they were above the rest. This is shameful, and may well disqualify them from the team.

I have met others who were marksmen with a gun, but had no skills in serving.

“Servant Leadership” is a popular subject these days. Books and seminars abound on the topic. But one thing I rarely see is this: the practicing of servant leadership. We hang plaques on our halls that highlight it, we talk about it in staff meetings, we preach it to the troops: but we just don’t do it! Indeed, it’s a hot topic, being talked about everywhere. But when it comes to its implementation, it becomes a foreign matter.

If you are a sheepdog, a true one, a legitimate one, then you must be willing to gird yourself with a towel and wash the feet of your family and friends – and even your foes (tradition holds that the first set of feet Jesus washed were those of Judas – his betrayer).

To wash feet means you are willing to be the servant of all. This must be your greatest quality – it must!

That includes serving your pastor. We regularly hear from people who complain that their pastor does not support them. “What should we do about that?” I'm often asked.

I know exactly what you should do. Serve your pastor; wash his feet. That’s right. Make no demands on him or her, simply serve them. In time, God will make a way for you to have a successful safety team. I have seen sheepdogs quit their church over this matter. My goodness, what’s wrong with us?

We are often asked another question, too. “What should we call our safety team? In response, we always urge them to avoid the use of the word “security.” We don’t even encourage the use of the word “sheepdog.” In my opinion, it is best to use something like Life Safety Team. This is actually the terminology used by some churches. And it states with precision what you are about: a group of servants who minister life and ensure the safety of others.

So, what would “foot-washing” look like as I serve on the team any given Sunday. What, exactly, might I be doing? Good question: and here are some ideas:

·      Greeting everyone that crosses my path

·      Extending a handshake to all who enter

·      Offering to park cars for the elderly

·      Walking the elderly and single women to their cars after the service

·      Picking up any trash left on the grounds

The list is endless.

A few years ago, I noticed a particular opportunity to serve at my church. Each Sunday, before the minister delivered his message, the choir was dismissed to go and sit in the pews with their families.

Many of the choir members were elderly, and as they headed to their seats, they were forced to walk down several rows of steps. This, I noticed, made several of them nervous. You could tell that some of the women, advanced in years, were fearful of falling (it had happened on occasion).

As I saw this, it dawned on me that I could alleviate their fears. Girded with my towel, I brought the remedy to this situation. When the choir was dismissed, I hastily rushed forward and assisted each of them who needed my help. I took the ladies by the hand and ensured that they did not fall. They were more than appreciative.

As I did this Sunday after Sunday, I felt like a real sheepdog:  my weapon concealed in my waistband - my towel hanging on my belt.

THIS IS WHAT SHEEP DOGGING LOOKS LIKE…

So, we encourage you to not only carry your concealed weapon with you in your goings, but to also make sure you have your other weapon as well: your towel.

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS

·      Atlanta, Georgia – THIS COMING WEEKEND - May 18 and 19. Friday and Saturday morning

·      Sabetha, Kansas – Friday, June 8

·      San Antonio, Texas – June 22 (Saturday)

 

 

 

 

We Offered Some Good Training Recently (John Wayne and Dirty Harry Even Showed Up)

A few months ago, shortly after the tragedy in Sutherlands Springs, Texas (where 26 worshipers were murdered inside a church), we conducted some training at a local church.

The training included the firing of simunitions, the use of "plastic like" bullets. It is some of the most realistic training you can experience.

When engaged in such training, the trainers - at least the smart ones - will prohibit the trainees from bringing guns or live ammo onto the scene. This is common practice in the world of law-enforcement.

There are many reasons for this. For example, when the simunitions are fired they sound very real. As a result, some attendees, if armed, could possibly react by drawing their guns and defending themselves. How is this possible? Truth is, the trainers have no idea about the history of those who are in attendance. There could well be someone suffering from PTSD, and the sound of gunfire could lead this person to believe he is in an actual gunfight.

You simply cannot allow live ammo or live weapons on the scene when conducting such training. Police agencies everywhere are banning the presence of live ammo and actual guns while training (as well as other non law-enforcement entities who offer civilian training). It is not uncommon to also ban the presence of knives, tasers, or any weapon when engaged in such training.

Other terrible things have happened in such training scenarios. I know of police officers who thought they were using a gun that was not real, and when they pulled the trigger, out came an actual live round that killed a fellow officer (Arlington, Texas Officer shot and killed in training session by fellow officer).

I was caught off guard by the attitude of some who came for training, and it causes me great concern when I see ignorance about this matter.

So...

Before the training last December, we sent out at least 6 emails to all who registered, informing them that live weapons and ammo would not be allowed on scene. We even had the presence of police to help search all those who came (the police train this way all the time). Some police agencies will even have attendees search each other twice before training begins (most police departments do not allow weapons of any kind on a "hot scene" when training).

However, at our recent training, and in spite of our warnings, we had people show up with guns. I remember several men who showed up and REFUSED to disarm. They demanded a refund, saying they had not been told. But they had been told. Their pastor had received 6 emails, but had failed to relay the info to them.

They left, having refused to disarm. THINK ABOUT THIS: these men did not consider the safety of the others an important matter. These men served on a church safety team: these men refused to disarm, completely ignoring the rules of training.

A member of their church contacted me later in the day and I explained to him what had happened. He apologized on their behalf. He then commented that one of the guys who had refused to disarm was a "little hot-headed."

I can't help but wonder: What is such a man doing on an armed church safety team?  A "hot-headed" person on a church safety team is a disaster waiting to happen.
 

Another man who had registered for the training demanded a refund when he learned about the safety rule. He was adamant that he would not go somewhere where he could not carry his gun. He argued that his safety and that of his family was at stake. But, for some reason, he did not think that our safety was important!? Think about it: He was willing to jeopardize the safety of all who attended. He put himself above the others: “the rules don’t apply to me,” he was telling us (by the way, we had employed several armed security guards for the day, so it wasn't like there was no security on the premises).

Individuals such as these are a danger to your team. I suggest that you do your best to not allow them to serve on the team, at least until they have learned how to play by the rules.

If you conduct training in the manner we did, you had better take the appropriate precautions in providing a safe atmosphere.

I must admit, the longer I engage in this line of work, the more I grow concerned about the ignorance that is so prevalent about safety practices while training - or while armed.

Last June, I was visiting a Texas church one night during its Vacation Bible School. I mentioned to the safety team that the new law allowing them to carry while serving as a church safety team member would go into effect September 1st (3 months later).

After sharing the news with them, one of the men reached into his right pocket and pulled out his pistol and showed it to the rest of us! “I got mine right here,” he said. I was stunned at this man’s lack of concern for the safety of the rest of us. NEVER PULL YOUR GUN OUT AT CHURCH TO "SHOW IT" TO OTHERS.

A few months ago, in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, an 81-year old man, and several others, sat in a church discussing church safety. They had recently attended a church safety seminar. During the discussion, the elderly gentleman removed a gun from his back pocket as he told the others, “I carry a weapon with me everywhere.”

He then pulled out a .380 Ruger. According to the news report, he then “removed the magazine and cleared the chamber to show the pistol to the others. He then reloaded it, put a round in the chamber and put it back in his pocket.”

Shortly thereafter, another man asked if he could see the gentleman’s gun. The gun-owner “took it out of his pocket and his finger accidentally hit the trigger. The bullet struck his right hand and then went through his 80-year-old wife’s abdomen and right forearm…”

There is no place for such carelessness.

At another training seminar, we set up the shooting simulator, where the “good guy” faces the video screen and deals with the “bad guys” on the screen. One of the attendees was quite successful in dealing with the killers on the screen. But after stopping the bad guys, he then twirled his gun as he placed it back into his pocket (a scene right out of the wild wild west). I saw him pull this stunt. I rushed down, took the gun from him, and then told all the others what he had done. Sheer carelessness on his part.

Never forget this: if you end up in a shootout, you will do what you do in training.

What I experienced from the men who came to our seminar for training, and then had to leave, reveals that our knowledge of gun-safety is quite deficient. If we cannot understand even the basic principles of training - and the safety related to that training – we are not ready to put a worthy team on the premises of our church.

If we are not careful in our training, we are going to get people hurt. And if you’re not willing to participate in training that does so in a professional and safe manner, then do us all a favor: get off the team ASAP.

Editor's note: Some have asked if Sheepdog Seminars forbids the presence of guns at their seminars. We do NOT make that determination. That decision is made based on the laws of the city, country, and state where the seminar takes place and is made by the host - not us. The training session mentioned in this article was NOT a Sheepdog Seminar. 


RECENT GUN MISHAPS

·      A teacher accidentally discharged a firearm while teaching a public safety class, injuring one student at a Northern California school - read

·      Off-duty officer accidentally discharges gun at school wrestling meet - read

·      Other police-related accidental shootings - read

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS:

·      Southern California (Huntington Beach – THIS COMING MONDAY, May 14

·      Atlanta, Georgia – May 18 and 19. Friday and Saturday morning

·      Sabetha, Kansas – Friday, June 8

·      San Antonio, Texas – June 22 (Saturday)


JIMMY MEEKS AND PASTOR FRANK POMEROY.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS - I was privileged to have lunch a few weeks ago with Pastor Frank Pomeroy of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas - the site of last November's massacre (in which 26 people were murdered inside the church - and 20 more injured).

Pastor Frank (right) is a man of unusual faith. There is so much I could say about him. Pastor Frank's daughter, Anna Belle, was among the victims. Though his heart is filled with so much pain, he presses on, serving his congregation and community. WE ARE COMMITTED TO NEVER LETTING PEOPLE FORGET WHAT HAPPENED AT THIS CHURCH! You can help these dear people by making a donation to the church. Click here to donate.

WHEN WILL THE CHURCHES START HELPING WOMEN TO STAY SAFE - AND ALIVE???

Since May of 2009, I have now participated in about 300 church safety seminars across the country. I never dreamed that nine years later I would still be engaged in this kind of work. I have driven about 70,000 miles (probably a lot more). My mechanic recently warned me that my 2006 Dodge Ram could no longer endure road trips.

I have been in over 35 states, pleading with churches and their communities to initiate greater safety measures.

It saddens me that our message often falls on deaf ears. Even though thousands of people have attended our Sheepdog Seminars, when all is said and done, much of what we have preached is simply not implemented into the churches.

For example, at every seminar we plead with the attendees to conduct “Women’s Safety Seminars” at least once a year. Put simply, we hope that they will take some time to educate the women on how to stay safe ... and alive.

We don’t want them inviting us to their church to lead such a meeting. Time would never permit us to take on such additional meetings. However, we always point out instructors who reside in the area and who could help in this matter. But seldom – hardly ever – are they solicited for their services. Across the country, I have asked dozens of police departments if churches have contacted them with such concerns. 99% of the time the answer is the same: “No.”

Having five daughters, a daughter-in-law, a wife, and two granddaughters, I feel strongly about the safety of women. Statistics reveal that several women die each day from domestic violence. I once conducted some research that showed about 1000 women are assaulted every day in America. Furthermore, about 6 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach age 18.

This is unacceptable, to say the very least.

And I ask, “Where are the Churches?”

The church – YOUR church – could easily conduct a yearly seminar wherein women are taught situational awareness. The women in your church need more than a Bible study.

THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHUCH NEED MORE THAN A WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY!!

Last July, in New York, a 50-year old woman had just left a Bible study at her church when confronted by a group of thugs. Initially it appeared that they would only rob her, but she soon learned that was not the case. According to the police, “Three of the five men took turns forcing the woman to perform oral sex on them. One of the attackers — a short guy — did run off and return with a condom, the woman recalled…”

I could go on and one with such stories…

A few years ago, there was a knock at my front door. Two teenage girls stood outside my front door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Yes, would you please consider making a contribution to our youth group?”

I was shocked – and angry.

“Does your minister know you are out doing this?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. “HE SENT US.”

What minister in his right mind would send the youth’s teenage girls out into this world to beg for money on behalf of God? Where is his concern for their physical safety.

Dear church staff: you better heed my words! Many of the women in your congregation have been assaulted - and some have even been raped.  Their hearts are broke, their souls in constant pain. It takes strength they barely have to even raise their heads to see where they are walking. They shudder at the thought that someone else might have to endure such a nightmare.

And someone else will.

The violence against women is NOT going to stop.

IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP!

And churches, I would hope, could lead the way in soliciting the services of trainers who can devote some time to helping women stay safe and alive.

One reason sexual assault is not going to stop is the porn issue. About two-thirds of church-going men have an issue with porn, and over half of the ministers in America have viewed porn.

Porn is a “step-drug.” You will not be able to “just look at porn.” Eventually you will grow weary of staring at images of naked women: you will want to see something “live.” It is then that you will make your way to strip clubs and the like. But even that, after a while, will no longer satisfy. It is then that you will do the forbidden: you will engage in an affair. And you may even commit sexual assault.

Think about this, pastor: probably half of the men in your congregation have an issue with porn. Eventually, their problem with porn will manifest into something uglier.

You could help stop this! Yes, you could insist that women be taught situational awareness. There are so many ways you could educate the women in your church.

PLEASE! PLEASE – do something more than conduct a Bible study.

A few years ago, my pastor allowed me to conduct a women’s safety seminar at our church. I even charged admission. I compiled a list of items needed by a local battered women’s ministry (diapers, clothes, detergent, etc.). Their “admission ticket” was an item from the list.

On the night of the seminar, about 400 women showed up. It took 3 trucks to haul away the goods we had collected for the shelter.

I then spent about two hours showing the women how to stay safe and alive. I recall one woman leaving in tears. She was overheard saying, “Oh how I wish I had known these things before I got married.”

Don't allow yourself to think "Well, God will protect our women." Did you know that six Christian women are raped in the Middle East every day? Why is He not protecting them?!

Dear churches: I plead with you to fight for your women. Do something besides just having a Bible study. Take some time to educate them on how to stay safe and alive.

A man in Oklahoma City was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Nelly Pelts, 26, on Feb. 6, 2010, outside a church. They met at a Wal-Mart in Del City, OK. Nellie struck up a conversation about Religion, and they soon headed over to her church.

According to news reports, the killer told police he “remembered following her to the church parking lot, but blacked out between then and waking up at home covered in blood.” A witness reported seeing the killer and Pelts fighting at the church about 12:50 a.m., and Pelts was trying to run away when he ran her over with his car. Nellie suffered stab wounds earlier in the fight.

This is a heart-breaking story. But the truth is, this tragedy should have never happened! Nellie should have known better than to be alone with a stranger in the middle of the night.

And these are the very subjects that you must address with the women of your church. And do so with someone qualified to help with this. It is time to heed the words of Nehemiah 4:14 – “Fight for your wives, your daughters…”

(Join us this Saturday, April 21, in Nashville for a Sheepdog Seminar. The following week, on April 30, we will be in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All info on this website. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Copy of WHEN WILL THE CHURCHES START HELPING WOMEN TO STAY SAFE - AND ALIVE???

Since May of 2009, I have now participated in about 300 church safety seminars across the country. I never dreamed that nine years later I would still be engaged in this kind of work. I have driven about 70,000 miles (probably a lot more). My mechanic recently warned me that my 2006 Dodge Ram could no longer endure road trips.

I have been in over 35 states, pleading with churches and their communities to initiate greater safety measures.

It saddens me that our message often falls on deaf ears. Even though thousands of people have attended our Sheepdog Seminars, when all is said and done, much of what we have preached is simply not implemented into the churches.

For example, at every seminar we plead with the attendees to conduct “Women’s Safety Seminars” at least once a year. Put simply, we hope that they will take some time to educate the women on how to stay safe ... and alive.

We don’t want them inviting us to their church to lead such a meeting. Time would never permit us to take on such additional meetings. However, we always point out instructors who reside in the area and who could help in this matter. But seldom – hardly ever – are they solicited for their services. Across the country, I have asked dozens of police departments if churches have contacted them with such concerns. 99% of the time the answer is the same: “No.”

Having five daughters, a daughter-in-law, a wife, and two granddaughters, I feel strongly about the safety of women. Statistics reveal that several women die each day from domestic violence. I once conducted some research that showed about 1000 women are assaulted every day in America. Furthermore, about 6 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach age 18.

This is unacceptable, to say the very least.

And I ask, “Where are the Churches?”

The church – YOUR church – could easily conduct a yearly seminar wherein women are taught situational awareness. The women in your church need more than a Bible study.

THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHUCH NEED MORE THAN A WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY!!

Last July, in New York, a 50-year old woman had just left a Bible study at her church when confronted by a group of thugs. Initially it appeared that they would only rob her, but she soon learned that was not the case. According to the police, “Three of the five men took turns forcing the woman to perform oral sex on them. One of the attackers — a short guy — did run off and return with a condom, the woman recalled…”

I could go on and one with such stories…

A few years ago, there was a knock at my front door. Two teenage girls stood outside my front door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Yes, would you please consider making a contribution to our youth group?”

I was shocked – and angry.

“Does your minister know you are out doing this?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. “HE SENT US.”

What minister in his right mind would send the youth’s teenage girls out into this world to beg for money on behalf of God? Where is his concern for their physical safety.

Dear church staff: you better heed my words! Many of the women in your congregation have been assaulted - and some have even been raped.  Their hearts are broke, their souls in constant pain. It takes strength they barely have to even raise their heads to see where they are walking. They shudder at the thought that someone else might have to endure such a nightmare.

And someone else will.

The violence against women is NOT going to stop.

IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP!

And churches, I would hope, could lead the way in soliciting the services of trainers who can devote some time to helping women stay safe and alive.

One reason sexual assault is not going to stop is the porn issue. About two-thirds of church-going men have an issue with porn, and over half of the ministers in America have viewed porn.

Porn is a “step-drug.” You will not be able to “just look at porn.” Eventually you will grow weary of staring at images of naked women: you will want to see something “live.” It is then that you will make your way to strip clubs and the like. But even that, after a while, will no longer satisfy. It is then that you will do the forbidden: you will engage in an affair. And you may even commit sexual assault.

Think about this, pastor: probably half of the men in your congregation have an issue with porn. Eventually, their problem with porn will manifest into something uglier.

You could help stop this! Yes, you could insist that women be taught situational awareness. There are so many ways you could educate the women in your church.

PLEASE! PLEASE – do something more than conduct a Bible study.

A few years ago, my pastor allowed me to conduct a women’s safety seminar at our church. I even charged admission. I compiled a list of items needed by a local battered women’s ministry (diapers, clothes, detergent, etc.). Their “admission ticket” was an item from the list.

On the night of the seminar, about 400 women showed up. It took 3 trucks to haul away the goods we had collected for the shelter.

I then spent about two hours showing the women how to stay safe and alive. I recall one woman leaving in tears. She was overheard saying, “Oh how I wish I had known these things before I got married.”

Don't allow yourself to think "Well, God will protect our women." Did you know that six Christian women are raped in the Middle East every day? Why is He not protecting them?!

Dear churches: I plead with you to fight for your women. Do something besides just having a Bible study. Take some time to educate them on how to stay safe and alive.

A man in Oklahoma City was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Nelly Pelts, 26, on Feb. 6, 2010, outside a church. They met at a Wal-Mart in Del City, OK. Nellie struck up a conversation about Religion, and they soon headed over to her church.

According to news reports, the killer told police he “remembered following her to the church parking lot, but blacked out between then and waking up at home covered in blood.” A witness reported seeing the killer and Pelts fighting at the church about 12:50 a.m., and Pelts was trying to run away when he ran her over with his car. Nellie suffered stab wounds earlier in the fight.

This is a heart-breaking story. But the truth is, this tragedy should have never happened! Nellie should have known better than to be alone with a stranger in the middle of the night.

And these are the very subjects that you must address with the women of your church. And do so with someone qualified to help with this. It is time to heed the words of Nehemiah 4:14 – “Fight for your wives, your daughters…”

(Join us this Saturday, April 21, in Nashville for a Sheepdog Seminar. The following week, on April 30, we will be in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All info on this website.