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23 Jan: Mental Problem or Spiritual Problem?

THANK YOU, FBSN Member Julie Anshasi, for writing this “Think About It” for me in my absence this weekend. How many of you sheepdogs have had people interrupt your services yelling that they have crack for sale? Or hoist a chair over their head, Jerry Springer style, and rush the pastor? Or get in the pastor’s face and scream, “I’m going to kill you?” All of this, and more, has happened at my church. Having been raised in the church; and having attended the services of multiple denominations in my lifetime, I have come to the sad conclusion that the problem of mental illness, while certainly genuine and nothing to be trivialized, doesn’t come close to the problem of demonic possession / oppression. Sometimes it’s not easy to determine if actions are mental, chemically induced, criminal or demonic. I think of the young man who wandered into our service, sat…

16 Jan: Why?

I followed the news coming from Colleyville Texas on 1/15/22. Short story was that a gunman entered a synagogue, took hostages, matched his skills with the FBI HRT team and came up on the short end. Hostages rescued. Attacker dead. The motive appears to be (at least in part) that the attacker claimed to be the (or “a”) brother of Aafia Siddiqui. Siddiqui was the first female Islamic terrorist arrested after 9/11, now serving a multi-year sentence in Federal prison. While the Colleyville attacker could be a blood relative, many extremists consider Siddiqui as their sister wrongly accused. I recalled what I wrote in my own book (Evil Invades Sanctuary). Threats are endless and unpredictable, as are their triggers (reasons for the attacks). Some motives are more comprehensible than others …, but all can be considered an unpredictable array of possibilities of emergency situations affecting ministries. To be aware of…

09 Jan: We Prayed

I had never really studied the Nehemiah story until a dramatic encounter with it in the Spring of 2005. We had just launched the security program at New Life Church that March. We had not even yet named our program (we later called it, the “Life Safety Ministry”). Our efforts had favor among church leadership. They decided the elders should pray over our program and officially bless our efforts. There were (as I recall) four of us asked to attend that official blessing of the elders on a particular Sunday prior to morning services. While reading my bible the night before the meeting, I came upon the story of Nehemiah. That night it really came alive to me. I was drawn especially to the 2-pronged strategy of his story summarized in chapter 4, verse 9; “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet…