Why ... are Christians living in California, Oregon, and Washington?

I have discovered a new way to increase my cash flow. Based on my calculations, I stand to heave in a ton of cash - if I can pull this off.

Here ‘s my plan: every time I conduct a seminar on the West Coast (California, Oregon, or Washington) I am going to charge Christians $1.00 every time they tell me how bad their state is, and how eager they are to move elsewhere.

We have conducted several Sheepdog Seminars up and down the West Coast: from Los Angeles to Seattle; from San Diego to Portland.

Next week – April 26 - we will be in Seattle. A Seattle man warned me that I will be “behind enemy lines.”

I constantly hear such talk from those in California, Oregon, and Washington -

  • Jimmy, when I retire, me and my family – we’re outta here…

  • I hate this place. It’s gone to the dogs. A bunch of bleeding-heart liberals have taken over our state…

  • Jimmy, they’re after our guns out here…

And I hear these words from people who are … Christians.

Now, let me hasten to clarify something: you are free to move anywhere you want. If you fled the Golden State and moved elsewhere, that’s perfectly fine. I have no intent to create unnecessary guilt in your life. And if you have already fled the west, you certainly don’t need to re-pack your stuff and return to where you came from. If you’ve moved, you have a new assignment.

So, read on …

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However, there is something you need to consider – IF - you are a follower of Jesus Christ, and still reside on the west coast

You’ve been bought. That’s right. You’ve … been … bought. And as a result, you do not belong to yourself. You were called to Christ, and when that occurred, you lost every one of your rights. Here, read it for yourself:

“…you are not your own: you were bought with a price.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

And what price was paid in order to purchase you? The blood of Jesus! The Apostle Peter made this clear in 1 Peter 1:18-19 …

God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ..

As a result, you are now the bond-servant of Jesus. He decides where you live, where you work – and so forth.

It could well be - and probably is - that God has you right where he wants you. The scripture makes this clear as well:

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...” (Psalm 37:23).

He “ordered” you there.

A soldier doesn’t get to decide where he will serve. Once a person enlists in the military, they are subject to the will of their superiors. They are now the “property of the United States,” and all of their purposes center around the will of the country.

As a believer, the last thing you want to do is miss out on God’s purpose for your life. And the first fact you must remember, is that he saved you FOR HIS PURPOSES - not yours.

The scripture says of King David that he “…served God’s purpose in his own generation” (Acts 13:36). Could there be a greater epitaph on your tombstone: He served God’s purpose for his life?

 
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The opposite is said of the Pharisees, who devoted their lives to opposing Jesus. Of them we are told that they “… rejected God’s purpose for themselves…”   (Luke 7:30 – italics mine) 

We must come to grips with God’s purpose for our lives, if we truly belong to him. And his purposes are not primarily devoted to the fulfillment of your dreams.

That is the way “American Christianity” tells it – but not the way of biblical Christianity.

It may excite us to hear that we are to pursue our dreams, but that is no guarantee that you will be serving God’s purposes. If you journey through the scripture, you quickly learn that the only dreams guaranteed to come true are the ones that originate with God (Examples: Joseph in Genesis 38: Daniel: Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus).

He did not save you to “make your dreams come true”: He saved you to make His dreams come true.

It is quite popular these days to encourage people to go after their passion. That word – passion – is highlighted more than ever. It’s a favorite term of millions. But my passion does not reign supreme.

God does not pace about on heaven’s floor, rubbing his chin, wondering how he can make your dreams and passions become reality. I’ve heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

On the contrary, when we come to Christ, we are privileged to live for a cause that is way beyond ourselves. We are privileged to be involved in a Great Project that God himself has initiated; we are invited to participate in the matters of his kingdom.

Do you remember the movie Bruce Almighty? Bruce Nolan is a discontented TV reporter, assigned to cover the “feel good” stories in Buffalo, New York. But what he craves is the anchor job, and until he lands that position, he wallows in self-pity.

Eventually, his nonstop complaining attracts the attention of God. As you recall, God meets with Bruce and tells him he is going to grant him some of his mighty power.

 

And Bruce screws it up. Bad.

He uses “the power” to feed his own selfishness. At one point, we actually see Bruce standing on top of a mountain, boldly crying out: “I am Bruce Almighty - MY will be done” (watch the scene in the clip above).

But what about the threat to the Second Amendment on the west coast?

I remember several conversations I had with west coast folks who were upset that the Second Amendment is always threatened. “Jimmy, they’re after our guns.”

Hold on a minute.

Did you know that God is FAR MORE concerned with the Second Commandment than he is the Second Amendment. And what is the Second Commandment?

“…you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself..”

Are you seeing the truth in this command? God is FAR MORE concerned that you practice the Second Commandment, than he is about protecting your Second Amendment rights.

Don’t get me wrong: I am a strong advocate of the Second Amendment. Our forefathers fought and died to give us the right to bear arms. And I’m smart enough to know that if they “outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”

But as a Christian, I am far more committed to the advancement of his kingdom, as well as his gospel.

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When you make plans for your life, you might want to remember this passage of scripture -

Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. (James 4:15)

That’s kind of heavy, is it not, calling your pretentious plans “evil.” Instead, you are to seek the guidance of your Father as to what you shall do, where you will live, and where you work. And when you do retire, heaven is the only place that does NOT acknowledge your resignation. You still have work to do.

I have often been tempted to move away from where I live. I don’t exactly live in the nicest side of town. Besides, with the market right now, I could sell my house and make a hefty profit.

But I have a problem: I am burdened over my neighborhood.

I hate the fact that much of the crime in my city occurs within walking distance of where I live. And it burns in my heart to do something about it.

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A few weeks ago, as I sat in my house, I heard several gunshots. I later learned that over 40 rounds had been fired into the window of a nearby apartment complex. I’m told it was a drug-related.

I remember one night sitting in my backyard, when all of a sudden, “bang.” A car pulled up three houses from mine and fired a single bullet into the field behind my house. I heard the bullet whiz through the trees.

Why don’t I just sell this house, pocket a lot of cash, and get the heck out of here?

I can’t. I … just … can’t. Why? Because I love my neighbors.

And besides, I belong to Jesus. I don’t get to “call the shots” in my life.

“But Jimmy, you’re in Texas!” Yes, I am. But no state is perfect (not even Texas!).

I will admit that sometimes a change of scenery is best. And maybe you have received divine guidance to move elsewhere. And if you have, then you must go.

But meanwhile, why not consider the strong likelihood that presently you are exactly where your Father wants you.

If you’re stuck in the midst of the liberal mire of California, Oregon, or Washington, could it be that you are precisely where your Father wants you? You are not there by accident. On the contrary, you are most likely there by Divine Appointment! There is something for you to do; an assignment to complete; a task to finish.

You may be thinking “How do I get out of California?” But God’s thinking may be entirely different. He is thinking: “How can you accomplish THE TASK I have given you, while you’re IN California!”

 
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” - Matthew 9:36-38

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” - Matthew 9:36-38

I am fully aware that not everyone can receive what I am sharing in this post.. It takes a special grace to receive these words, and if you don’t have that grace at this time in your life, that’s perfectly fine: “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ.” And if you have fled a western state (or any state for that matter): Get Busy Where You are NOW …!

But if you are a believer, there is something you can do: You can ask your Father to show you his will – and you can, by his grace, do it! And do it, regardless of what state you reside in.

And let’s be honest. Is it really that bad where you live? Don’t you just need to settle down, stop your complaining, and do your Father’s will?!

On second thought, maybe he does want you to move.

Let’s imagine he wants you to move to … Nigeria …

Consider what your brothers and sisters are enduring in Nigeria -

  • Young girls have been kidnapped …

  • Reports claim that Islamic jihadists have slaughtered more than 120 Christians since February of this year …

  • Dozens of Christians’ homes have been burned to the ground …

  • Children have been left orphaned by terrorists …

Or maybe you should move to Egypt, the land of the pyramids. So much history, you’re bound to live in continual pleasure.

Just a few days ago (April 12) a mob of extremists attacked a church in Egypt, armed with knives and sticks. As a result…

  • The building was damaged …

  • People were injured …

  • Christian children attending Sunday School were traumatized …

  • The church temporarily closed to avoid further violence …

Reports in this latter incident revealed that the mayor was upset because of the church’s building program. The church is trying to accommodate its growing congregation, which has now reached 1,300 members!

So, you don’t like living in California, Oregon, or Washington State? Wanna get out of the “Land of the Liberals?”

You could always move to Nigeria, or maybe Egypt.

Permit me to close this blog by answering the question posed in the title: Why are there Christians in California, Oregon, and Washington. The answer is for the same reason there are Christians in all the other states: God will not let Himself be without a witness. He has placed His people in these dark places that they might shine like the stars.

Your calling is clearly presented in Philippians (written by the Apostle Paul from a jail cell) -

…children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation…shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life… (Phil 2:15-16).

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You have been put there, at least for now, that you might be the bright lights in your community: the city set on a hill that cannot be hid: the salt of the earth. Don’t blow this opportunity.

In the words of Saint Francis: “Preach the Gospel by all means. If necessary, use words.”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON SHEEPDOG SEMINAR. Join us in Seattle on April 26-27. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER OR LEARN MORE

Look who our speakers are …

Officer Greg Stevens (left) In May of 2015, Officer Stevens stopped two terrorists from committing mass murder at a convention center, saving countless lives. For his heroics, he was awarded the Medal of Valor by President Obama for "preventing a deadly act of terrorism." Watch the video of Officer Stevens receiving the Medal of Valor.

PASTOR FRANK POMEROY (center, with Jimmy Meeks) will also be with us at this seminar. Pastor Frank serves at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas - where in November of 2017 an angry gunman entered and shot and killed 26 worshipers (and injured 20 more).

PASTOR DAVID GEORGE (far right) is a pastor in Oakville, WA, and also a volunteer EMT firefighter. Pastor George stopped a deadly rampage of carjackings and shootings at a Wal-Mart in Tumwater, WA this past June. He also treated the wounded at the scene.

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Jimmy Meeks, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, and Carl Chinn will also be at the Seattle Sheepdog Seminar.

 

Below is a list of recent incidents of violence on church and faith-based property. Some of the following current stories may not make the final cut of qualified deadly force incidents, but we want you to know what we are watching.

  • Ohio, Wednesday 4/17/19. After killing a woman and her daughter a man drove to a church where he killed himself.

  • Nebraska, Sunday 4/14/19. A man who had just hurt someone at a home was intercepted by law-enforcement as he entered a church, where they shot and killed him.

  • Missouri, Friday 4/12/19. A man was robbed at gunpoint outside of a church.

  • Washington, Sunday 4/7/19. A man called 911 on himself as he sat with a shotgun outside a church. He fired it in the air, then pointed it at the officers. His condition is unknown at this time.

  • West Virginia, Sunday 4/7/19. A man disrupted a service in session claiming he had guns (he did, in his car) and could hurt them. He was held down by men of the church until law-enforcement arrived.

  • Oregon, Thursday 4/4/19. A man and woman damaging the inside of a church were confronted by a husband / wife custodial pair and the criminals produced bladed weapons and threatened them.

  • Louisiana, Thursday 4/4/19. A woman with a knife attacked a man and a woman at a church day-care. The woman is in critical condition.

  • New Mexico, Thursday 4/4/19. A man was discovered suffering from a gunshot wound in front of a church.

  • California, Wednesday 4/3/19. A man was attacked by two pit-bull dogs as he walked through a church parking lot. The dog-owner who left the scene is being sought by police.

  • North Carolina, Monday 4/1/19. A man attacked his girlfriend at a church Motel hitting her over the head with a phone.

WHAT "JUSTIFIES" YOU SHOOTING SOMEONE? COULD "LOVE" BE YOUR MOTIVE...?

An acquaintance of mine recently told me that she renewed her conceal carry permit. This bothered one of her friends. “You could shoot someone?” her friend asked.

When you are hit with that question, you’re being asked by someone who has simply not done their homework. Or, to put it another way, they have no idea what they are asking you. Their question is grounded in ignorance, and they have failed to think the matter through.

Before I fully address the question “to shoot or not to shoot,” permit me to clarify something. I have no desire to take a life. If you do have such a desire, your thinking is warped - and you should probably seek counseling. The desire to take a life is not normal.

But when addressing this issue of taking a life, there is something very important you must consider…

Another friend of mine recently told me that she was considering not renewing her conceal carry license. “I just don’t know if I could shoot someone,” she added.

I then called attention to her grandchildren. “Could you defend them?” I asked. That changed her tone.

And that is what it comes down to. If you lawfully carry a gun, for the purpose of self-defense, it is not just your life that you must consider. You must also give thought to the lives of those whom you love, as well as your friends and the members of your community.

I don’t carry a gun for the sole purpose of defending myself: I carry it for the sake of those whom I love and cherish. And this is what the anti-gun crowd fails to see. They have complained that we “cling to our guns” as if the weapon was our god. But we know better. We know that is a misconception: a misunderstanding on the part of gun opponents.

I am by no means a gun fanatic. I have no fancy gun collection. I do not LOVE guns. I LOVE PEOPLE! And that is one of, if not the most, important reasons I carry a gun.

So, if you ask me “How could you shoot someone?” The answer, at least to me, is quite simple: I cannot sit idly by and allow a madman to kill innocent people.

If I can help it - if it is within my power - and I should happen to find myself in a violent situation where innocent lives are being threatened or killed, I fully intend to interfere with the killer’s actions. That “interference” may be with the use of my gun, or some other means. But I cannot just stand there and watch the horror play out.

It is not merely about my Second Amendment rights. It is about OUR right to be safe. And should your safety be threatened by a killer, then I MUST at least make an attempt to stop him. As I stated earlier, I love people, and because I do, I cannot allow them to be murdered (if I can help it).

“But Jimmy,” you might ask, “what about the shooter. Don’t you love him as well?” Of course I do. However, if he is killing innocent people, he has then forfeited certain rights, one of which is his freedom. If you shed innocent men’s blood, it is possible that man will shed yours (Genesis 9:6). That law was given long before the Ten Commandments.

If you have trouble with my answer, then you are failing to recognize the value of human beings. If you cannot agree with me on this, then allow me to put this question before you: Am I supposed to just stand there and let this murderer kill innocent people? Am I to do nothing? Is that not an act of cowardice on my part?

The question is NOT “how could you shoot someone?” The question is “how can I stand there and let him shoot someone - and not do anything?”

 
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You are not obligated to carry a gun. The Constitution does not force you to do so. It gives you that right. And that right is primarily based on the need to protect innocent lives. Our founding fathers understood this. Thomas Jefferson wrote:

 "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

It all comes down to what is in one’s heart. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 15:19:  “…from the heart come…murders…” And there will always be those among us whose heart is evil and is inclined toward violence.

And we must stop them.

Let me repeat myself. It is not a not a question of “how could I shoot someone?” That is not the bigger issue. The bigger issue is: “How could I permit someone to take innocent lives?” I have to stop him, if I am able to do so.

If you’re a pastor who does not allow firearms at your place of worship, you need to consider some things. You could be deceived if you think no one with evil and murderous intent could ever enter your house of worship. Yes, the chances of such an act are slim: I admit that. But, what if those “slim chances” fall apart someday and it does happen at your church (as it is all over America).

Let me give you a sample of violent incidents on faith-based property that have happened SINCE JANUARY 14 OF THIS YEAR (2019) -

 ·      New York: A man was shot and killed outside of a church.

·      Tennessee: A man was shot and killed in the driveway of a church.

·      California: A fight broke out at a funeral in a church leaving one dead outside.

·      Texas: A man killed his estranged wife and critically injured their grown daughter in the parking lot of a church.

·      North Carolina: A man attacked a pastor in his church, cutting him several times as he yelled his intentions of killing him. The man was subsequently confronted by police and killed in that confrontation.

·      Washington: A woman who was receiving benevolence stabbed a church worker with scissors at the church’s warming shelter.

And there are others.

What if you should find yourself in the predicament that a Washington pastor found himself in last summer (2017)? After Sunday morning services at his church, David George, along with family members, went to a Wal-Mart in Tumwater, Washington. It was Father’s Day. According to the report, he was at the customer service desk while the rest of his family was checking out when he heard a popping sound.

“I was sure that what I heard was gunshots and I’m familiar … with how I should respond considering mine, my family’s and the public’s safety,” Pastor David said. His first concern was the whereabouts of his family. Then, when he exited the store, he saw the gunman. A few minutes later, convinced that the gunman was a threat to his family and fellow citizens, Pastor George shot and killed the suspect. Knowing that someone else had also been shot by the culprit, Pastor George then retrieved his first aid kit from his vehicle and rushed to the aid of the gunshot victim.

Pastor David had no desire to kill anyone. He did not even shoot the killer to kill him, but to use his own words: “…I fired to stop the shooter.” Even as he gave this statement, he often broke down and cried. Pastor David understands the value of human life. He loves people. He is a man of God.

So, before you ask me “how could you shoot someone?” I am asking you to consider the alternative: I stand there while innocent lives are destroyed and killed.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous German Lutheran pastor, was executed during WW2 for his participation in an attempted assassination of Hitler. He struggled with this, being a Christian and pastor. In the end, his chose to be involved in the plot, probably due to a conviction he held:

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

You may not want to bear arms. You may despise guns. That is your right.

But for those of us who believe in the right to carry a gun, do not criticize our choice. We, too, value life. And we simply cannot bear to watch innocent lives destroyed. We have to “wrestle” the steering wheel away from the driver. And we will, if possible, use our gun to do so.

It is true that we are not wired for violence. However, it is equally true that we are wired for protection. So when confronted with the question about shooting someone, I quickly acknowledge the fact that it is a misdirected question. It is asked by those who have not thought it through.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I believe in the sanctity of life; from the baby inside the womb, to the senior lying in a hospice. Each and every life is precious. And I grieve for the one who resorted to murder. But I find no difference in the man who uses his gun to stop a killer, than I do from the soldier who, on foreign or home soil, shoots a terrorist in the act of war. They are both sheepdogs. They are both heroes.

 

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS

 

Go to our store and consider the products: tourniquets (do you keep these in your sanctuary?). We also have pepper spray. And be sure to c heck out the award-winning movie Faith Under Fire.

 

I SHALL BECOME THE "WORLD'S GREATEST LOVER"

Remember the movie "Patch Adams" ...?

It was almost 20 years ago that I saw the movie "Patch Adams." If you remember, it was the story of a goofy, clown-like doctor who wanted to make a difference in the world. Adams was played by Robin Williams...

Recently, I was reading about him and his relationship with his father...

Adams's father fought in WW2 and in Korea and, unfortunately, died when Patch was only 16 years old. 

For half of Adams's 16 years, his father was away engaged in wars. Sadly, Adams wrote that before his dad died, he "died in his heart and soul to me..."

The combat his dad was in took a toll on him, and he suffered terribly. Patch remembers his dad often weeping when asked about his wartime experiences. 

On another note of sadness, Patch Adams did not think his dad loved him as he grew up. And when his dad passed away, the world of Patch Adams crumbled. He and his father had just begun to talk. His dad had even apologized for not playing with him as a child.

Patch Adams had difficulty finding himself after his dad's death. He even wound up in a hospital at one point, and he hoped he would die. Filled with anger and hate, he often participated in protests and sit-ins. 

Fortunately, Patch finally got it together and committed to his life to promoting peace and justice, caring deeply for others (as the movie portrays). He readily confesses that his dad's experiences taught him a lot. What his dad gave him stimulated him to work for the good of others.

But here's what really got me as I read about Patch Adams...

He writes that he would have traded all the life-lessons for the privilege of simply having a dad who was ...PRESENT: "...I would have traded all these lessons his life gave me for a regular dad, present, playful, and tender."

I often hear men who are fathers express the desire to know God's will for their life. They want to know what their life-calling is, what career should they choose, and so forth.

But it puzzles me that a father would entertain such a question... 

If you're a FATHER, God's will for you should be as plain as the nose on your face: 
- BE with your children...
- PLAY with them ...
- GO to the park...
- TAKE them to the Dairy Queen
- ENJOY a Happy Meal with them. 

Very seldom should you entertain the question of "What is God's Will for my life?"

God's "will" is standing there in front of you.

Many years ago I read a book called "The Blessing." According to the authors, a study at UCLA revealed that children need "8 to 15 meaningful touches every day." So, there, you have it. You now know God's will, dad, for your life. As AT&T used to say, "Reach out and touch someone." 

Start with your children.

You may complain, "Jimmy, I'm just not that way. I am not a touchy-feely kind of guy. Saying 'I love you' and being affectionate is not my love language. I am who I am."

Well, only God can say "I am Who I am." As for you, it is time to break the curse of your lack of affection, and with total disregard for your possible negative upbringing, which may have not included an affectionate, loving dad - repent and change your ways - and become the "world's greatest lover."

Don't allow your children to someday stare at your lifeless body, lying cold in a casket, grieving that you showed such little love, and spent such little time at the Dairy Queen.

RIGHT: What kind of FATHER is God… listen to Jimmy share his message “The Heart of God.”

 
  • Our Florida Church Safety Seminar Tour begins TOMORROW (Monday, January 28) Click here for info

  • Our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Sheepdog Seminar is filling up quicker than usual. Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 worshipers were killed in 2017, will be with us. Don’t miss hearing this precious brother and his wife! Click here

  • Bangor, Maine Sheepdog Seminar - March 29, 20

I SHALL BECOME THE WORLD'S GREATEST LOVER...

Remember the movie "Patch Adams" ...?

It was almost 20 years ago that I saw the movie "Patch Adams." If you remember, it was the story of a goofy, clown-like doctor who wanted to make a difference in the world. Adams was played by Robin Williams...

Recently, I was reading about him and his relationship with his father...

Adams's father fought in WW2 and in Korea and, unfortunately, died when Patch was only 16 years old. 

For half of Adams's 16 years, his father was away engaged in wars. Sadly, Adams wrote that before his dad died, he "died in his heart and soul to me..."

The combat his dad was in took a toll on him, and he suffered terribly. Patch remembers his dad often weeping when asked about his wartime experiences. 

On another note of sadness, Patch Adams did not think his dad loved him as he grew up. And when his dad passed away, the world of Patch Adams crumbled. He and his father had just begun to talk. His dad had even apologized for not playing with him as a child.

Patch Adams had difficulty finding himself after his dad's death. He even wound up in a hospital at one point, and he hoped he would die. Filled with anger and hate, he often participated in protests and sit-ins. 

Fortunately, Patch finally got it together and committed to his life to promoting peace and justice, caring deeply for others (as the movie portrays). He readily confesses that his dad's experiences taught him a lot. What his dad gave him stimulated him to work for the good of others.

But here's what really got me as I read about Patch Adams...

He writes that he would have traded all the life-lessons for the privilege of simply having a dad who was ...PRESENT: "...I would have traded all these lessons his life gave me for a regular dad, present, playful, and tender."

I often hear men who are fathers express the desire to know God's will for their life. They want to know what their life-calling is, what career should they choose, and so forth.

But it puzzles me that a father would entertain such a question... 

If you're a FATHER, God's will for you should be as plain as the nose on your face: 
- BE with your children...
- PLAY with them ...
- GO to the park...
- TAKE them to the Dairy Queen
- ENJOY a Happy Meal with them. 

Very seldom should you entertain the question of "What is God's Will for my life?"

God's "will" is standing there in front of you.

Many years ago I read a book called "The Blessing." According to the authors, a study at UCLA revealed that children need "8 to 15 meaningful touches every day." So, there, you have it. You now know God's will, dad, for your life. As AT&T used to say, "Reach out and touch someone." 

Start with your children.

You may complain, "Jimmy, I'm just not that way. I am not a touchy-feely kind of guy. Saying 'I love you' and being affectionate is not my love language. I am who I am."

Well, only God can say "I am Who I am." As for you, it is time to break the curse of your lack of affection, and with total disregard for your possible negative upbringing, which may have not included an affectionate, loving dad - repent and change your ways - and become the "world's greatest lover."

Don't allow your children to someday stare at your lifeless body, lying cold in a casket, grieving that you showed such little love, and spent such little time at the Dairy Queen.

RIGHT: What kind of FATHER is God… listen to Jimmy share his message “The Heart of God.”

 
  • Our Florida Church Safety Seminar Tour begins TOMORROW (Monday, January 28) Click here for info

  • Our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Sheepdog Seminar is filling up quicker than usual. Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 worshipers were killed in 2017, will be with us. Don’t miss hearing this precious brother and his wife! Click here

  • Bangor, Maine Sheepdog Seminar - March 29, 20

IF YOU CARRY A GUN TO CHURCH - YOU MUST ALSO CARRY A TOWEL

Jimmy Meeks speaking to the crowd at the Huntington Beach, California Sheepdog Seminar ( LA Times) .

Jimmy Meeks speaking to the crowd at the Huntington Beach, California Sheepdog Seminar (LA Times).

So, HBO (Home Box Office) gives me a call a few months ago. They had seen an article about Sheepdog Seminars, picture included, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. The Sheepdog “thing” had caught their attention, and they wanted to know more.

Assuming we were all about guns, they call me. The caller worked for VICE NEWS, a division of HBO.

It wasn’t long before they delved into the question about guns. “Do you guys carry guns?” she asked.

 “Some do, some don’t,” I replied. “But we don’t just wear guns: we also wear towels.”

My response threw her off. Apparently, the article had led her to believe that we were all about guns. And though we are certainly believers in the 2nd Amendment, I told her, we are about so much more.

MUCH MORE.

I then went on to explain the “weapon” called a towel.

If you’re a sheepdog and serve as such in your church (or anywhere for that matter), you must also wear a towel. This is true for all who are adherents to the Christian faith. Throughout scripture, the towel is repeatedly emphasized. As a matter of fact, if you profess faith in Jesus, it is far more important that you wear a towel - more so than a gun (I know some Christian sheepdogs who are far more acquainted with their gun than they are the towel).

What, then, is the towel? It is explained in the gospel of John, chapter 13:

 “Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.”

The towel is the “weapon” we use to wash the feet of others. Jesus made this clear a few verses later:

 “…since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”

 Yes, fellow sheepdog, this is your high calling. You must not only be good with your gun: you must be good with your towel. And the power of the towel is clearly seen in Jesus’s use of it: he washed feet.

Consider this carefully: Jesus is the Lord of all. He is the Creator of all thing. He rules the heavens above, and the earth below. Yet, even though he possesses all of this authority and power: he chose to wash the smelly, dirty feet of his disciples.

Washing feet in Jesus’ day was reserved for the lowest of the servants. It was the task of the “slave of the slaves.” If you washed feet, you were on the bottom of the totem pole.

And yet, here is Jesus, the Son of God, girded with a towel, washing the feet of sinful men.

Consider just how dirty their feet were. Walking around the streets of Jerusalem, one would often step onto the manure left by the various animals. This is one reason why foot-washing was necessary. Someone had to remove the “crap” from the feet of their guests. Thus, the lowliest of the slaves was summoned to the room, and there he engaged in the most unpleasant of tasks: removing dirt and dung from the house guests.

And this is what Jesus did.

And this is your calling, too.

Fellow sheepdogs, next time you’re at church, see how many feet you can wash. Now, I don’t mean that you need to ask those who enter to remove their socks and shoes so that you can do so. There are other ways to “wash feet.” The whole idea of washing feet implies that we are willing to be the servants of all men.

When at church (or anywhere), make an attempt to “out-serve” everyone else. Here is a way you can do so…

Everyone who enters the house of worship should see your extended hand. A handshake is a powerful act. It conveys to the recipient that you have acknowledged him/her, and you’re thrilled that they have come to church. Some churches have realized this and have established what is commonly called the “first impressions ministry.”

Remember this: before they do anything else inside your church, they will have an encounter with you! And some who enter your house of worship may be “at the end of their rope.” They may be there as a last resort, hoping to discover something that may lead them to believe that there is “hope.” And their first contact is … YOU!!!

Let me add something important about this. One of the reasons you’re doing the sheepdog thing at church is because you’re aware of the threat of violence. Chances are, this Sunday or the next, someone somewhere is going to attend a church and create a disturbance of some sort. If they enter your church and receive a hearty handshake, and you look them straight in the eyes as you speak, you may well have prevented an act of violence.

Those who enter a church with evil intent want to keep a low profile. They don’t want a greeting, a handshake, someone looking into their eyes, or, worse, having to engage in a lengthy conversation.

Thus, if you have a “bad feeling” about someone who enters, quickly extend your hand. Offer not only a handshake, but your name. The longer they are engaged with you, the more uncomfortable they will become (and this is good if you suspect trouble). Thus, if they have evil intent, your contact with them may thwart their plan.

There’s something else you need to know about your handshake. This may be something you have never given any thought to, but it is worthy of your consideration… so, here goes… get ready…

Research has revealed something very interesting about the human heart. The heart of every human being emits “waves.”* These waves travel at least 10 feet from our body and, furthermore, strike the brain of everyone within that radius (it is suspected that they travel even further, however, technology only allowed them to measure 10 feet. Research was conducted by Heart Math Institute).

If a person is happy, compassionate, and caring (along with other such attributes), then the waves that proceed from them contain those particular emotions. Your “joyful, happy waves” will strike those within 10 feet and may result in lifting their spirits.

You’ve heard the phrase, “when he comes in, he lights up the room.” There’s actually a ton of truth in that statement. He “lights up the room,” or “spreads darkness,” depending on what’s in him.

Now, consider this. Jesus talked about these “waves” when he walked the earth. He said of those who believed in him that “rivers of living water” would flow forth out of their innermost being (i.e. heart). What does this mean for you as you serve as the church’s sheepdog?

It means this: your handshake is no mere handshake: “rivers of living water” are coming out of your hand – and your heart. Or, as our researchers discovered, “waves” are pouring out of your you, striking everyone with whom you come into contact. If you’re happy, caring, and compassionate: if a smile is on your face: if joy is springing from your heart, then, that is what you are passing on to those whose hand you shake!

So, go for it. After-all, it’s Christmas: “Tis the season to be jolly….”


We have a new ministry for police officers; New Covenant Cops.   Click here   to check out the website.

We have a new ministry for police officers; New Covenant Cops. Click here to check out the website.

 
 

30 MINUTES WITH A CALL GIRL (ONLY COST ME 20 BUCKS)

By Jimmy Meeks. Retired Police Officer

Sally was standing in the center median with full intentions of begging for money. It was a busy time of the day – rush hour – and cars were bumper to bumper. She was determined to convince a few of the drivers to toss some coins in her direction.

I pulled up next to her in my police car and before she had approached her first “customer,” I told her to cross the street and meet me in the nearby parking lot.

As we began our conversation, she confirmed my suspicions: Begging for cash was the plan. She only needed about 10 dollars, she said, which would convince her friends back at the hotel to let her stay another night. She stood outside my car, talking about her predicament. I didn’t want her to sleep on the street ...

“Do you have a brother or sister I could call?” I asked … 

“No,” said with a noticeable sadness in her voice…

“What about your mom or dad? Can I call them?”

“No, they’re both dead.”

I knew there were some shelters in downtown Ft Worth, and apparently she read my mind.

“I don’t want to go downtown Ft. Worth,” she quickly replied.

 But it was her next few statements that somewhat caught me off guard.

“I have nice teeth,” Sally said, sheepishly smiling.

She saw the puzzled look on my face.

“I have nice teeth, officer, and I’m kind of pretty. If I go down there I’ll be sexually harassed all night.” Sally admitted to prostituting herself at times, but hated doing it, she said.

Now, I have no desire to offend this dear girl. And perhaps “kind of pretty” does describe her. But only “kind of.” Her shirt and very short dress had obviously not been inside a washing machine in quite some time. She wore flip-flops and her feet were dirty.  And it was apparent that she had not bathed in days. 

But still, my heart went out to her…

“Sally,” I asked, “When is the last time you had something to eat?”

My question broke her. Her lips began to quiver as her eyes swelled with tears.

“I haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday.” 

“Well, hey, why don’t you hop in my police car and let’s cross this busy street and get you something to eat!”

Her “kind of pretty” face lit up like a child who had just gotten a new toy. Excitedly, she jumped in the back seat of my cruiser and we made our way to the nearby convenient store.

Sally and I entered the store and you would’ve thought a 3-year old had just been dropped off at Toys R Us. The folks in the store didn’t know what to make of us. Their facial expressions all seemed to say the same thing: “What’s this cop doing with…her?” 

“Sally get what you want.” 

She ran around the store like a spoiled child. 

“Be sure and get you something to drink,” I shouted…

This particular convenient store had just opened a “kitchen,” and hot food could be ordered, and ready, in only a few minutes. Sally rushed up to the computer on the counter, placed her order, and shortly thereafter held a hot meal in her hands. 

“Hey, get something else, too,” I told her. “You’ll be hungry again in only a few hours.”  She grabbed a sandwich off the shelf.  

Customers continued to stare. In all honesty I think they were enjoying the scene.  Those watching me seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps they thought the whole scene was “refreshing.” 

We made our way to the register.  My bill was an additional $10.00. Sally had earlier said that 10 bucks might get her another night with her friends to help pay for the room. The cashier slipped me the 10-dollar bill and I passed it on to Sally.

Confusion was all over her face. Her expression clearly said, “Why are you doing this…?”

As we made our way toward the door, out of nowhere Sally blurted out: “Can I hug you… can I hug you…?” 

Customers coming and going saw this girl begging a cop for a hug.  Time seemed to stand still for a moment. I paused, knowing that those standing nearby were eager to see my response…

“Sure,” I replied. 

She reached up and wrapped her dirty arms around me.  It was a full-blown hug. She seemed to be holding on for dear life…

It would dawn on me later that this may have been the only hug from a man with no ulterior motives that she had had in years …

Sally told me she was going to the train station to catch a ride back to where her friends were. Knowing the station was only 3 minutes down the road, I offered to take her. It was a hot day and I didn't want her to stay out in the sun any longer than she had to.

Once again she hopped in the back seat of my cruiser and off we went – The Cop and the Call Girl…

Along the way, she kept saying, "You're so different. I always heard you guys were mean..." I didn't really know what to say in response, so I just let her talk. And talk she did, interrupted with an occasional cry.

We pulled into the parking lot near the train station and she hopped out. She seemed so happy, at least for now. 

As she walked in front of my car, headed to the train depot, it suddenly dawned on me: I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and I have the power to impart a blessing to this girl… 

I quickly exited my car, extended my hands toward her in the posture of a priest, and remembering the words of Numbers 6, I boldly spoke aloud: "SALLY…THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU. THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU. THE LORD GIVE YOU PEACE..."

She stood still for a moment, not knowing what to think. She slowly smiled through quivering lips and then turned and walked away.

As she went, I couldn't help but think, "That's someone's daughter." And though Sally's daddy was dead, I suspect there was a day he could look into her eyes, call her his "little girl," and hug her - just like she had asked me to do.

I have 6 daughters. They are the delight of my heart. They light up my world and make my heart leap. 

But who -  WHO -  will delight in the Sally's of the world? Who will celebrate them? Who will – like Jesus – go after these castaways?

Jesus kept company with such women as Sally. He welcomed their “advances.” He allowed them to touch Him, to wash His holy feet with their tears, to anoint His head with expensive perfume…

Jesus was called the “Friend of Sinners.”  The rejects of society were drawn to Him. Tax collectors, so despised in their day, would walk off their job to be with Him. Fishermen would abandon their boats to follow Him. The diseased and dying would press through smothering crowds just to touch his robe. 

He…was…their…FRIEND…  

The world has tagged us Christians with numerous titles: Evangelical, Conservative, Right-Winger, The Religious Right, and a host of others. 

But rarely do they call us …“Friend of Sinners…”