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.