Paul the Apostle had no problem with ARMED security - so why do we?

The argument goes on and on: to be armed or not to be. Those in favor say the other side should agree, while the opposed say no. And time and time again I have heard ministers and church people make the argument that we should NOT be armed if we serve on a church safety team. In my humble opinion, I believe that every church has the right to do as it deems necessary, acting under the scope of its laws and ordinances - as well as church policy.

But you cannot make the argument that a church can never utilize armed personnel. If you do, you might upset the Apostle Paul.

Paul didn’t always utilize the “faith-only” approach when it came to his personal protection. Sometimes, he took advantage of... “armed security.”

Read it for yourself….

In Acts 23 a group of about 40 men vowed to not eat until they had killed Paul. They were so enraged at his teaching about Jesus that they determined to kill him.

They convinced their religious leaders to summon Paul to their court under the pretense of asking him more questions.

But their aim was to murder him. 

Paul’s nephew learned about the plot and rushed off to tell him. Paul’s response is worth noting. He did NOT tell his nephew, “Have no fear my son, the Lord will protect me.” Instead, Paul used common sense. He summoned a nearby police officer and told him to escort his nephew to the commander. Simply put, Paul called 911.

The nephew met with the commander and exposed the plot. The response is, to say the least, very interesting. Read it for yourself: 

“Then the commander called two of his officers and ordered, 'Get 200 soldiers ready to leave for Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight. Also take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted troops. Provide horses for Paul to ride, and get him safely to Governor Felix.'”

Think about that for a moment. OVER 400 ARMED GUARDS WERE ASSIGNED TO PAUL! These men had...SWORDS ... and SPEARS...

The religious mentality often tells us, “We should just trust the Lord for protection.” But the SPIRITUAL mind is different. It realizes that “faith without works is…DEAD.” Paul could have told his nephew, “Don’t panic. The Lord will get us to Rome. He promised us!”

Rome was Paul’s destination. God had told him he would testify before the authorities in Rome. And here we see God using armed people to fulfill His purpose for Paul.

Paul will eventually get to Rome - and the Gospel will spread throughout the Roman Empire - and with the assistance of Armed Security!

God could have protected Paul with Angels – or a dozen other ways – but He chose to use a large group of ARMED men to provide cover for His Servant.

Not every church can afford to hire police or security services. The budget of some churches barely gets the basics paid. In light of this, we make our appeal to all churches and their leaders to recognize the Second Amendment, and, based on the laws of your particular state, encourage and allow the churches to defend themselves as they deem necessary (AND T-R-A-I-N)!!!.

Church Leaders: there may come a day you find yourself in a lawsuit. The charge will be that you restricted your people from protecting themselves in the face of a massacre. Your posted sign kept your flock gun-free: but had no affect on the heart of the wicked.

There could be a tragedy in one of your churches that might could have been prevented had someone who was armed been allowed in the church (or on its property).

A terrible tragedy happened to a friend of mine in Illinois, Mary Shepard. While working inside her church one day in 2009, she was viciously attacked. Mary was 69 years old. Her co-worker, 76-years old, was also beaten. They were attacked by a man burglarizing the church where they worked.

The attacker was 6'4" and weighed 240 pounds. 

Mary's injuries were severe. According to Arrest warrants, the would-be killer repeatedly kicked the heads and bodies of Shepherd and her fellow worker (he got away with less than $600).

Mary suffered a skull fracture, concussion and a possible broken bone in her right cheek. Medical staff at the hospital told family members the injuries were like nothing they had ever seen. Despite that, she reportedly suffered no damage to her brain or eyes.

Mary Shepard after her vicious attack.

Mary sued the State of Illinois for denying her the right to self-defense. She won and became one of the first recipients of a concealed carry permit.

Now let me be perfectly clear about something. I am NOT a gun-fanatic. I HAVE NO OBSESSION WITH GUNS. My “gun-collection” totals about three.

 But I am a fanatic about the prevention of violence committed by criminals such as the one who attacked Mary and her sister in Christ.

I am a believer in the Second Amendment because I am a fanatic about the Second Commandment: "Love your neighbor." And love, the Apostle Paul said, "...always protects..." (1 Corinthians 13:7).

And these individuals who want to storm onto our faith-based property and kill the innocent, must not be tolerated. 

We must LOVE our people enough to provide them with some means of security, and not feed them with faulty ideas such as "God will protect us while we are in His house.,” while we do NOTHING.

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If that be true, that such protection is warranted when inside a church sanctuary, why, then, is God not protecting other houses of worship around the world? 

For example, beginning in 2012, over 1000 churches in Nigeria were eventually burned to the ground. WHY DIDN'T GOD PROTECT THEM?

Why didn't God protect Mary Shepard? Why isn't God protecting all of the Christian women overseas, 6 of whom are raped every day because of their faith in Christ.

Why didn't God protect the Rev. Carol Daniels, who was murdered inside her Oklahoma Church in 2009? An autopsy report indicated Daniels had been stabbed several times and her head was nearly severed from her body. Police reports state Daniels’ body was posed in the form of a cross. Other reports says the killer set her hair on fire.

There is one other matter I must quickly call to your attention. Have you ever heard of the Reverend Daniel Simmons? Rev. Simmons was one of the nine parishioners killed at Mother Emmanuel in Charleston, S.C. in June of 2015.

According to his son, Dan Jr, his father was the family’s protector. Furthermore, his father had a concealed weapons permit and nearly always carried his pistol – even in church.

Dan Jr testified at the trial of the killer, admitting, "I didn’t understand why he didn’t carry a weapon to church that night. It was hard for me, not knowing why he didn’t protect everybody.”

When Simmons received the keys to his father’s car from the coroner he got his answer. 

“When I opened the car, it was sitting on the front seat,” said Simmons Jr., before collapsing into sobs on the witness stand. “He took it off before he went to church."

The list of examples is endless. Church leaders, love your flock enough to put something in place to stop these killers.

Yes, pray for the attacker: pray against all violence in your city and that which is aimed at your flock. Cry out to God, fast, seek Him in sackcloth and ashes if you must. But remember your flock; they are counting on you. 

Oh, and just for clarity's sake, Paul did not suffer from a lack of faith. He simply understood a certain truth: "Faith without WORKS is dead..."

 

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Did you know Churchill had a special "name" for WW2?

Perhaps you’ve never given much thought to the matter, but are you aware that wars have names? It is not by accident that any given war has an “official” name that it is remembered by. Thus, we all know about the American Revolution, The War of 1812, World War One – and so forth.

As World War 2 broke out, President Franklin Roosevelt was in search of an official name by which the war would be known. Roosevelt asked Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time, what name he thought should be given to the war. With no hesitation, Churchill replied: “The Unnecessary War.”

 Churchill went on to explain why it should be called such:

 “There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle (the ‘previous struggle’ was a reference to World War 1).”

What did Churchill mean? History readily offers the answer.

Churchill had warned his fellow countrymen that Hitler was piecing together a massive army that was a threat to the entire world. Though Germany had agreed to have an army for internal peace-keeping purposes only, Churchill knew they were showing total disregard for the treaty.

In spite of his pleas and warnings, Churchill was ignored.

And the rest is history.

And for several years America fought in “The Unnecessary War.” The death toll was heave:

  • Six million Jews were murdered …

  • 70 million others were killed ….

  • 400,000 American Soldiers were killed …..

A dark stain on the pages of world history that will be there until the end of time. And the sad fact is this: WW2 was simply not necessary. How is that? If Churchill’s warnings had been heeded, as well as other factors, we may not have suffered such death and carnage, which resulted in three percent of the world’s population being killed.

For 35-years I served as a police officer. During that time, I went from one crime to another, many of which – indeed, perhaps most – were totally preventable.

·      The car that was stolen; the keys were left in it

·      The house that was left unlocked, and its goods were toted away ….

·      The bicycle left in the front yard – taken overnight …..

 I could go on and on.

And so it is with much of the crime occurring on faith-based and church property. So much of it is preventable, so much could be easily thwarted.

But alas, just as Churchill warned his fellow Britons and their political leaders about Hitler, only to be ignored: so the crimes on faith-based property carry on, while the leaders of the churches ignore the warnings - many refusing to take the necessary steps to stop it.

We now understand how evil Hitler was. The history books record his barbaric and murderous acts against millions of innocent people. And it is strange to think that in 1938 the English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler and gave in to some of his demands. Chamberlain returned from that meeting believing that war would be averted!

Needless to say, history has not been kind to Chamberlain, and understandably so. Churchill understood how evil Hitler could be - Chamberlain did not.

And so it is in many of our churches.

Some church-goers actually think that everyone who enters a house of worship on Sunday or Saturday comes with a pure heart and good motives. But that is simply not the case. Jesus had 12 disciples – one of them had a devil. One is tempted to think that if you hung around Jesus seven days a week for three years, his goodness might wear off on you. But that was not the case with Judas.

And those Judas’ are still with us.

Much of the violent crime on our church and faith-based property is preventable – very preventable. Having people in the right place, having a spirit of watchfulness and vigilance, all of this and more can decrease the chances of violence.

But until we realize there are Hitlers and Judas’ among us, we will take no steps to prevent these disastrous acts against our people. We simply do not have the mindset. We fail to understand the evil that people are capable of. Truth be told, we just don’t believe the Bible. Read the Apostle Paul’s summary of humanity, found in Romans 3:

·      all have turned away

·      they have become worthless

·      there is no one who does good, not even one

·      Their throats are open graves

·      their tongues practice deceit

·      The poison of vipers is on their lips

·      Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness

·      Their feet are swift to shed blood

·      ruin and misery mark their ways

·      the way of peace they do not know

·      There is no fear of God before their eyes …

Wow – could it be plainer? God himself, speaking through the apostle, explaining the predicament of mankind and what he/she is capable of: from a tongue that practices deceit, to feet swift to shed blood.

In August of 2009 someone attacked a lady minister in Oklahoma. Her name was Carol Daniels (photo to the right). She ministered to the outcasts and rejects in the small town of Anadarko. She was alone in her tiny church one Sunday when someone - we do not know who - entered the church and stripped her of her clothing, cut her repeatedly, laid her in a crucified position, and then set her hair on fire.

I could go on and on with horrid stories of violence at our houses of worship. And so many of them – SO MANY OF THEM – are preventable.

 

Rev. Carol Daniels. A detective who assisted on the case, said: “In your mind, you think, how could anybody do this to another person much less someone who is down there serving God.” One press report read that according to the autopsy report, Daniels had been stabbed multiple times, her head nearly severed, her hair set on fire. The killers didn’t stop there. Investigators say her body was also stripped nude, doused with a cleaning solution, and in the opinion of some — posed as if on a crucifix

Look at the sex crimes occurring on faith-based settings. Hundreds, if not thousands, occurring every year. And yet when we study these crimes, we find that church leadership continuously violates common sense rules, such as: do not allow adults to be alone with the children!

More than 100 Southern Baptist youth pastors convicted or charged in sex crimes, reads the Houston Chronicle. And that’s just the ones that are caught. 412 allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 independent fundamental Baptist churches and their affiliated institutions, spanning 40 states and Canada.

Dear God, these precious children could suffer for a lifetime.

I know something of sexual abuse. I was a child when a man lured me into his car and sexually assaulted me. I have often wondered how this affected me. I never told my parents and only recently have I opened up about it. What scars are deeply woven into my soul? What bad habits formed in my life as a result? I don’t know, but I have wondered for years…

So much of this is preventable. If we can awaken the churches to the potential of violence, and get them to believe the book from which they preach, we just might be able to save some people from an act of violence that if committed against them, may forever alter their lives – for the worse.

If we can get them to love their flock, and to provide the necessary protection on worship days (and anytime the saints gather), we just might well make a difference.

Let me close with a final thought.

For Hitler to have ordered and authorized the atrocious acts which occurred, should certainly confirm for us who are believers the presence of evil spirits who roam this earth, and who are committed to the destruction of mankind. These wicked spirits – called “demons” in the Bible - find sheer delight in the rape, pillage, and murder of the innocent. The devil is a murderer, Jesus said (John 8:44).

And these very same spirits, who long ago possessed the depraved soul of Adolph Hitler, are still engaged in the very same type of work of destruction.

Churchill warned his fellow leaders that Hitler was amassing an army of destroyers that could throw our world into sheer misery for many years to come. But … they … paid … no … heed … to … his … words.

And now we are being warned again: our enemy is committed to our destruction. And he, like Hitler, is piecing together an army of fallen angels who share in his ugly nature: he will rape our children, assault our women, and murder our men. And because of this, we must NOT be among those who disregard legitimate warnings, but on the contrary, hear and heed these warnings, utilizing every lawful weapon to defend our churches, cities, and country.

 

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS

 

SHEEPDOGS - ARE YOUR READY FOR SUNDAY? (The 3 things you MUST be doing)

If you’re “sheep dogging” at your church – serving on the safety team – there are three things you had better consider. Let’s take a quick look at them:

  1. VERBAL DE-ESCALATION. If you are not a good communicator; if you do not have the ability to calm someone down with your words, you might want to reconsider whether you should serve in such a capacity. Verbal de-escalation is a must for EVERYONE on the team. You will use the words of your mouth a million times more than you will any type of lethal force.

 The scripture says that the “power of life and death is in the tongue” (Proverbs 18:20-21). Never is this truer than when someone finds himself in a heated situation. If you cannot calm someone with your words (assuming, of course, there is no deadly threat), you might be better in some other position.

When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, he defended her: he saved her from an awful death of stoning. However, he did not use any man-made weapon to do so: he saved her life with the use of his words (“He that has no sin, let him cast the first stone…” John 8).

If your church safety team does not practice verbal de-escalation and fine tune their skills in this matter, you will likely find yourself in a bind at some point in the future. If you lack these skills, you may even make the situation worse.

As a police officer, I witnessed this scene play out many times. I often witnessed police officers who, lacking such skills, only made the matter worse.

When speaking to someone at your church who is causing a disturbance, there are basic fundamentals you must practice –

·      Face them with your body as they speak to you

·      Look them in the eyes

Why is this important? The reason is obvious. YOU MUST CONVEY TO THIS PERSON THAT THE ONLY THING IN THE WORLD YOU CARE ABOUT IN THAT MOMENT IS ….. THEM.

If they detect that you are not interested in their dilemma, it may set them off. They may leave, but they will leave with anger in their bosom. And that increases the chances that they may come back at a later date and unleash that anger on … your flock…

And one more thing about this: do not get on your mobile phone while talking to them. I have tried to carry on conversations with people (including preachers) who could not pull themselves away from their phone long enough to hear my heart. This is wrong! Leave that phone in your back pocket. Listening to this person tells him that you CARE.

 
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2- STATION SOMEONE OUTSIDE - NEAR THE MAIN POINT OF ENTRY. I am puzzled by many of the phone calls I get about church safety: questions about shatter-proof glass, cameras in the classrooms, etc. I always respond to the caller with the same question: “Do you have someone stationed outside near the front door.”

The reason I ask this, is that it is at the main point of entry that the killer will enter. The stats bear this out: they’re coming from the parking lot and through the main door. Not having someone at the front door is like a goal line defense that left its defensive line on the bench! Your opponent will score, and do so with ease. Unfortunately, in your scenario, it won’t be a mere touchdown, but chaos and death.

Furthermore - and this is something your church will have to decide – this person(s) assigned to the main point of entry should consider being armed. I know that many of you will have a hard time with this. But how strange that you would be troubled by such a recommendation!

Are you actually more concerned about a defender who is armed than you are about the armed killer who is about to enter your sanctuary - and slaughter the innocent? I simply do not understand your reasoning. Surely your love for the flock is greater than that.

 
Someone must be stationed near the front door, and outside. Being outside gives you an advantage if you see danger coming. In reference to the other doors, we suggest that you lock as many as possible, and then funnel the people through the main door(s). There is no reason every door in the church should be opened. Even businesses don’t do that. The church folks will complain a few weeks, but eventually the griping will die down.

Someone must be stationed near the front door, and outside. Being outside gives you an advantage if you see danger coming. In reference to the other doors, we suggest that you lock as many as possible, and then funnel the people through the main door(s). There is no reason every door in the church should be opened. Even businesses don’t do that. The church folks will complain a few weeks, but eventually the griping will die down.

WHY WOULD YOU BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT AN ARMED DEFENDER THAN YOU ARE ABOUT AN ARMED KILLER?

Why would you be more concerned about an armed defender (assuming he is trained, of course) than you would be about a killer who is going to enter onto your property and cause such havoc that your people will be traumatized FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES???!!!

 “Jimmy, we just have a problem with guns.” What? Shouldn’t your “greater problem” be with the one coming to murder your flock? Your focus must be on stopping the killer, not on the trained individual willing to defend you.

I was once talking with a member of a church safety team. I asked him: “What is your plan should an armed killer show up?” I was caught off guard by his reply: “I am going to talk him down.”

Now, as stated above, verbal de-escalation is a must. However, it is no guarantee that your words will stop a killer. As a matter of fact, you should know that 91% of the time when a killer comes to a church, HE COMPLETES HIS MISSION!

This dear brother does not understand the psyche (mindset) of a killer. Once he arrives at your church he is “in the zone.” His mind has gone to a dark place; a place where evil dwells. Very seldom do such crazed individuals have a change of heart.

The killer at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas had certainly gone into the world of devils. He entered the church and shot and killed 26 worshipers – and injured 20 more. He then entered his vehicle and drove off.

Witnesses who saw him leave said he was, “…methodical…like a robot,” and, they added, he seemed “possessed.”

He was in a zone where evil controls. Oddly enough, after killing so many, he called his parents and repeatedly said how sorry he was. He had, at that point, returned to a small sense of normalcy. But the damage was done.

 
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It is a decision you must make. But know this: these massacres are NOT going to stop. I speak to the experts often about this matter and they all say the same thing: “We ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Discuss these matters with your team, and the pastoral staff. Don’t allow your religion to feed you false ideas, and don’t fall for the errant ideas of the pacifist. Consider these words of C.S. Lewis:

“…I can respect an honest pacifist, though I believe him to be entirely mistaken.”

Pastor David George serves at a church in Washington State. After preaching his Father’s Day message last June, he went to a Wal-Mart in a nearby city, along with some of the members of his family. While there, a gunman started shooting, and wounded several people.

Pastor David is not your ordinary preacher. He was armed - and trained. Concerned for his family and community, he went after the gunman and shot and killed him. He then retrieved his medical bag and treated the wounded.

Pastor David spoke at our Seattle Sheepdog Seminar a few days ago. He says he is often asked about his “theology on self-defense.” His reply is rather simple: “I don’t have one,” he tells them. “The Bible says to love God and your neighbor - and that’s what I try to do.”

3- I have one final suggestion. And quite frankly, I am surprised I have to say this: If you do not have tourniquets on your person, you are NOT ready!

Furthermore, if you do not have tourniquets on your person, you are saying, “It will never happen here.”

I am very puzzled about this matter. I will show up at a seminar with 100 tourniquets. Several hundred are in attendance, however, in spite of my pleas I sometimes leave there with half of the tourniquets. What is going on?

And the ones I plead with are the sheepdogs (I think?). If YOU don’t get it, what hope does your congregation have?

Please get some tourniquets.

 
CLICK HERE  to go to our store and order tourniquets. They will be shipped ASAP. Or, call 817.437.9693 and we will take your order over the phone.  YOU ARE A SHEEPDOG. YOU SHOULD NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT A TOURNIQUET -  NEVER ! IF YOU CARRY A WEAPON, YOU MUST ALSO HAVE A TOURNIQUET.

CLICK HERE to go to our store and order tourniquets. They will be shipped ASAP. Or, call 817.437.9693 and we will take your order over the phone.

YOU ARE A SHEEPDOG. YOU SHOULD NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT A TOURNIQUET - NEVER! IF YOU CARRY A WEAPON, YOU MUST ALSO HAVE A TOURNIQUET.

 
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One final word …

AS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR.

NOTHING!

We are sometimes accused of fear-mongering. That is not our intent. But please understand this: fear is the result of NOT being prepared. Fear is what the college freshman feels when he takes a test for which he has NOT studied. His fear is justified. If you have a safety team at your church, and they are prepared, you will minimize the fear factor.

We pray that all of our churches are kept safe. Have a good Sunday!

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!

We would love to come to you church and conduct a

Sheepdog Seminar. Call 817.437.9693 for details.

 

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS

 

 

 

 

 

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