Adam’s Road Concert, 4 Cats and God’s Plan

Tonight was an amazing night of worship at my local church, as Adam’s Road performed live on stage… incredible music and powerful testimonies of how our wonderful God changes hearts and lives. All of the members were Mormons before Christ came into their lives… and VERY active in their faith.

Micah, Matt, Lila and Joseph all shared their stories, and their love for God in the form of music on stage tonight. There were few dry eyes in the entire worship center. I don’t want to share too much of their testimonies here, because I really want you to visit their site and watch them yourself.

But one testimony struck me right in the heart, and that was Joseph’s. He shared how 12 years ago he came to know Jesus Christ and out of Mormonism, how his entire family is still lost spiritually and how he married Katie (Matt and Micah’s sister – also a part of Adam’s Road) and they have two cats. Now to you this may seem like nothing at all… but God grabbed me tonight and I was filled with utter sadness over the knowledge that no one in my family knows Christ. I could not stop from crying during his testimony, my heart broke for Joseph knowing the pain he was experiencing.

After the show I was able to speak with Joseph one on one, which started with a hug and being choked up with tears and ending with us praying for each other’s families. PRAISE GOD! I am so blessed to have met Joseph tonight, that I almost feel like God crossed our paths and I made a new friend tonight… or maybe I’m just a fanboy stalker, I am not really sure… LOL. But I was just struck by the fact that we both came to a saving faith in Christ 12 years ago, we both have families that don’t know Jesus and we both have 2 cats… coincidence? I think not.

God’s Real Purpose for this Evening

All joking and cat stories aside I am very serious when I said God grabbed hold of me tonight, and it wasn’t just so I could pray with Joseph. God refreshed or reignited a passion within me to share the Gospel. Not just share it, but share it intentionally… with purpose and with passion.

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is what we lose sight of so easily, especially being Christians in America, that we have been Commissioned by God. If you want to go by Webster, that means we have been given AN ORDER by God. To go and make disciples of all nations… to GO. That would be a verb, an ACTION word. As I wrote in another post, we can often make the mistake of thinking if we live “good Christian lives” (whatever that means) then our example is witness enough. That attitude is dead wrong. Can you imagine if the 12 Apostles had that same attitude? None of us would know the name of Jesus!

This is my personal challenge to myself, to share the Gospel every day with someone who doesn’t know Jesus. It may be a casual conversation at a grocery check out or an in depth conversation elsewhere… I will leave it to God to place people in my path. But how refreshing would it be to LIVE for Jesus every day? We exist in a world of lost souls, all destined for an eternity separated from God… Can you imagine how many people may come to know Christ if we shared the Gospel on a regular basis? Can you imagine how many people… those people might plant the seeds of the Gospel within?

The thought gives me chills.

I want to thank God again for a wonderful evening at Church, thank Adam’s Road for making the journey, thank the team for their testimonies… and invite you to get to know Adam’s Road, share in their ministry… and prayerfully consider how you can share the Gospel with someone you know.

Adam’s Road

Adams Road

Jesus unshackled four religious people and filled them with the knowledge of God’s amazing grace. Adam’s Road is made up of these four individuals, whom God rescued out of Mormonism and brought into a personal and saving relationship with Jesus. Through the transformative power of the Gospel, we who once were blind, lost, and dead are now trophies of God’s immeasurable grace. We have discovered the Bread of Life and no longer hunger; we have drunk from the fountain of life and no longer thirst. We are proof that no one is outside of the reach of God’s grace. We were lost, but Jesus searched us out, relentlessly pursued us, and saved us. We are evidence of the life-changing power of God’s incalculable love. ~ Adam’s Road, Official Website

All of the music produced and performed by Adam’s Road is given away free on their website, just as The Gospel is freely given. Please visit their site today and share it on your social networks.

https://www.adamsroadministry.com/freemusic

 

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Is Andy Stanley A False Teacher?

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Recently on Christian Headlines the following was reported:

Answers in Genesis founder and president Ken Ham is calling Georgia pastor Andy Stanley a “false teacher” for comments Stanley made in a recent sermon on the connection between Christianity and the Old Testament.

Ham’s comments on June 22 sparked a lively discussion on his social media accounts, with some taking Ham’s side and others defending Stanley.

Is Andy Stanley a false teacher?” Ham asked on his Facebook page and Twitter feed. “He compromises Genesis and certainly teaches that those of us who insist all the Bible (including OT) is true are putting a stumbling block in people’s way to hearing the gospel. But it’s Stanley who is undermining God’s Word — yes, a false teacher.

Ham also discussed Stanley’s sermon in the June 22 episode of Answers News. He posted a clip of Stanley’s sermon on his social media accounts. Stanley is senior pastor of North Point Community Church.

Many have lost faith because of something about the Bible or in the Bible – the Old Testament in particular,” Stanley says in the clip. “Once they can no longer accept all the historicity of the Old Testament, once they couldn’t go along with all the miracles, once somebody poked a hole in the Genesis creation, you know, myth – once all that went away suddenly their house-of-cards faith came tumbling down because they were taught it’s all true, it’s all God’s Word and if you find one part that’s not true [then] uh-oh the whole thing comes tumbling down.

[But] not Christianity. The Bible did not create Christianity,” Stanley adds. “The resurrection of Jesus created Christianity and launched Christianity. Your whole house of Old Testament cards can come tumbling down [but] the question is: Did Jesus rise from the dead? And the eyewitnesses said He did. I know that’s a little disturbing for some of us. I know for many of you, this is liberating. As one close friend of mine said who was in her 60s, she said, ‘I finally understand.’

Now these words are directly from the sermon that Andy Stanley preached and there is really no way around the fact that first… he is dead wrong, and second his teachings could lead people down a very dangerous spiritual path.

It is not up to man to discount the Word of God, any part of it… yet here we have a man of God, with a famous last name doing just that. This is very sad to me, and I am quite sure his father Dr. Charles Stanley has already had a discussion with him, I only wish I could have been at the table for that family chat.

Time will tell if Andy comes forward and walks these comments back, or sticks to his guns, I will be keeping an eye on it and post any updates here.

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Does Your Church Need a Security Team?

As you may know from reading my blog I helped launch a Safety and Security team at my home church a couple of years ago. Our church is by no means a large church, we average about 150 people per service on weekends. But since the launch of our team, we have had several incidents that very well could have ended much worse, without our team in position.

The first incident, I was inside the worship center during first service, and the worship team was playing music while people were finding their seats. I am the team leader, and all of our members have walkie talkies when they are serving. We generally run two team members per service, plus the lead. We have one member on patrol in the parking lot, with a focus on the entryway to the children’s ministry and another inside patrolling. During a normal service I patrol all areas and monitor everything. This particular morning, Big Mike one of the Elders comes to me in the worship center, and tells me a guy with two guns is trying to get in the front door.

As I follow Mike out into the lobby, I tell him to point him out, he was a white male – mid 30’s – about 6’1″ and maybe 175 lbs. He was wearing a gray blazer, black cowboy hat and jeans, with a big Texas belt buckle. Inside the front of his Jeans are two black semi-automatic pistols tucked on either side of his belt buckle. He is standing just five feet outside the entrance, with his arms on his hips and an angry look on his face. My approach to him was my normal approach, pleasant but forceful.

“Good morning sir, how can I help you today?”

“You can help by telling me why these Communists won’t let me come in this Church and worship my savior Jesus Christ!”

“Well sir, we do not allow firearms on our property, you are free to worship along side us, but you will have to secure your pistols in your vehicle first.”

“This is America, and I am free to worship my God without having my Second Amendment rights trampled! And I will NEVER put down my guns, because I do not trust ANY man, I only trust God.”

At this point I realize I am not dealing with someone who is thinking rationally, and this could develop rather quickly into a bad situation. My eye spots my first team member observing from about 15 feet away on my right. Now I have to position this guy and myself away from the front glass doors of this church, in case he decides to pull his guns and shoot. So I move in towards him, and as I do, he backs up around a wall blocking his view of the doors (good).

“Sir, this is private property and we reserve the right to prohibit the possession of firearms on this property. If you would like I can call Metro to the scene so they can explain the law to you clearly.” At this point he gets very angry and steps into my personal space with his finger pointing less than an inch from my face.

You are the problem with this Country, Goddamn Communists trying to take away my rights, you want me to show you the two AR-15s I have in my truck?”

“No sir, and as a matter of fact, I don’t appreciate the threats, so I need you to get in your car and leave the property right now. If you don’t leave you will be arrested for trespassing.” Both of my team members are only feet away at this moment, not knowing his next move, I stay calm and keep eye contact. In my mind I realize if he draws, I have to get control of the guns, and rely on my team to neutralize him. It will only take him seconds to discharge his weapons so we will have to move fast.

He chooses differently and disengages from me, turns around and walks off to his car cursing at us and calling us Communists. He then speeds out of the parking lot. Meanwhile my team had taken plenty of photos of him and his vehicle, while he was talking with me. My next move was to notify local police of what had happened, in case he drove off to another church that day.

A Man, A Gun and the Grace of God

Another incident, that didn’t turn out nearly as good, occurred on August 11, 2017 when a naked man with a gun was found meditating at the front door of our church. There is a link to an article I wrote about this incident above.

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But for the purposes of this article, this man was depressed and suicidal and tried to lure the Police to kill him that day, but they only wounded him to the shoulder. He is lucky to be alive, whether he knows that or not. Another blessing, was that he showed up on Saturday when the doors were locked.

But how common are Church shootings really?

There is an article on the Gospel Coalition that details some statistics on this matter.
The full link to the article is here. But here is some of what they had to say…

The Center for Homicide Research produced a study using online newspaper archive articles to document all cases of shootings on church property within the United States from 1980 to 2005. According to the data, there was a total of 139 shootings on church property with a total death toll of 185 people. During that 25-year period there were an average of six shootings on church property every year.

While that shows gun-related violence is rare, those statistics are for all shootings that occurred on church property, including some in the parking lot and unrelated to church activity and some that involved targeting of pastors outside of church services.

Let’s narrow the data further by considering media reports involving only shootings that occur within the church, and look at the period from 2006 (just after the study by the Center for Homicide Research) to June 17, 2015—the day of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

During that nine-year period we find approximately 24 church shootings, an average of 2.7 per year.

If we assume that approximately three church shootings occur every year in the United States, what is the probability they could occur at any particular church? Church shootings are rarely random, and many are spillovers of domestic violence. But for our calculation let’s assume the targets are randomly distributed across all congregations.

There are an estimated 378,000 congregations in the United States, which means the likelihood of any congregation being involved in a shooting in any year is approximately one in 126,000 or 0.0000079 percent.

If we assume that each congregation meets at least once per week, there are a minimum of 19,656,000 church services every year in the United States. That means your odds of being in a church service in which a shooting occurs are at most 1 in 6,552,000 or 0.00000015 percent.

Well golly gee, that all sounds like we should all be safe as a bug in a rug! But then the real world happens and I have found through personal experience that it is not only likely that our church will have a security issue(s)… it is actually just a matter of time.

In the couple of years since our team launched, we have had two people with guns show up, several belligerent church goers, a few suspicious persons (one who just approached the alter during the sermon less than a week ago) two falls that resulted in injuries, and a few other safety and security matters.

Our team is out in the open for the most part, we have uniforms and radios, and we pray before each service. However, most days I will stay in plain clothes and monitor church activity from the background.

Praying Before Service
The Safety Team

When we first launched our team we had many people in the congregation who opposed us, thinking we looked like a security force and asking… is there a problem we need to know about? Is it safe to come to church?

My response was always simple… “No ma’am there is no problem, we are just going to be proactive and not reactive when a problem arises. We are here for your safety, if you need anything, just lets us know.”

At this point our team is well received and everyone is happy to have us around. What you should consider in your local church, is do you need a safety and security team? My answer is always a resounding YES. No matter what the size of your church, there is always a need.

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