2021 October

17 Oct: Guard Your Heart

Introduction by Carl Chinn: Today’s message is by Alan Hughes (One of the longest running thought leaders in this space of church security. Alan is from Ft. Myers, FL). Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.- Proverbs 4:23 I spend a lot of time studying the darkness and evil of men so that I can better protect against it. Several years ago, I started to realize that I wasn’t doing a good job of balancing what was going into my brain and, subsequently, into my heart. In response, I started to try to be more balanced in making sure that good was also on the menu. My role is to protect, to defend. To use the gifts and abilities that God gave me to protect honors Him, but what fuels us matters. If our serving in safety is a manifestation of our love for…

10 Oct: Youth Safety

As the Building Engineer for Focus on the Family, I saw something in 1997 that revealed a changing paradigm. One of my responsibilities was the fire alarm and suppression systems and related evacuation plans and emergency procedures. In 1996, we finished the new Welcome Center facility; a building designed and operated specifically for visitors. By 1997 it was time to conduct a fire drill there. I intentionally chose a day full of visitors to observe visitor dynamics. With the building loaded with hundreds of visitors in awe, it was time to set off the alarms and watch the dynamics. Of the lessons we learned, one remains prevalent. On that day, there was a large group of home-schooled children in the facility. They had never heard a fire alarm. Those kids had no idea what that awful sound was. There has been a substantial increase in home schooling since, exploding since Covid. Over…

03 Oct: A TIME TO SPEAK

I recently wrote about good times to be quiet. There are also good times to speak. It takes wisdom to know the difference, courage to speak when it’s time, and resolve to see it through. Consider the story of Etan Patz. 6-year-old Etan left his home on 5/25/1979 headed to his school bus. It was the first time he had ever made the 2-block journey alone. He hasn’t been seen since. In 2017 a man was convicted of his murder. The man had told his church bible study group in the early 1980’s that he had killed a little boy. Even though there were about 50 people in the group, there is no record of anyone coming forward. One now says she reported it. If so, her report was never documented. Etan’s story increased America’s missing children awareness. He was one of the first milk carton pictures, and inspired Reagan…