Monday, November 30, 2009

Does God Permit Tragedy?

4 Lakewood (WA) Officers Murdered: Why God?

Today is November 29th, 2009, and for many it was just another day or maybe a day considered a bad day but to some it was the worst day of their life and to others it was a tragic day.

I am a police captain for the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police Department and I have done this job since 1993. Before that, I grew up with my father who retired after doing the same job for 27 years. As a police officer, I am keenly aware that every day of the year will be the worst day of someone’s life.

I have in my lifetime up until now seen first hand as a police officer what tragedy does to those in our profession and the impact it has on the family of those officers.

I was just five years old on September 24, 1976, but I remember my father weeping when he found out his good friend and co-worker was brutally murdered when he stopped a man that was wanted for murder. Fort Smith Patrol Officer Randy Basnett died that day. He left behind a wife that was pregnant, parents and siblings.

Almost two years later, May 26, 1978, my wife was just four years old and she has similar memories when her father, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Second Lieutenant James Pat Grimes was ambushed by two cowards with a rifle. He died that day and left behind his daughter, wife, parents and siblings. We are reminded daily of the pain and struggle that tragedy has caused.

And on June 10, 1996, I was a 24 year old Tulsa Police Officer and was less than one mile away with Senior Patrol Officer Dick Hobson was shot and killed by a robbery suspect. I helped load Dick into an ambulance that night and several hours later he was pronounced dead. I collapsed and wept.

Then, this morning, Sunday, November 29, 2009, I was made aware of the tragedy in the State of Washington. Four officers from the Lakewood Police Department, a 100 member force, were sitting in a coffee shop doing paperwork on their laptops. Something I have done many times, something that probably you have done, whether in law enforcement or not.

A man entered the coffee house and brutally murdered all four officers. Early reports tell us that while two of the officers were likely killed instantly, the other two may have fought back and one even firing rounds at the suspect.

Tragically, four officers laid dead and as of this writing, the suspect has not been caught but let me be clear. He will be caught.

The four officers have been identified as Sergeant Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards. Their ages range from 37 to 42. They leave behind multiple children, spouses, parents, siblings and a community and country in mourning. It was the fourth multiple officer fatality by gunfire this year alone and the second ambush in the Seattle area in the last 30 days.

It is unimaginable tragedy and it is in this tragedy that one may ask where was God?

Why did it have to happen?

Why does God permit suffering and tragedy?

These are all valid and legitimate questions and quite frankly our minds simply cannot grasp all of these answers. It is ok to say I don’t know but to say I don’t know does not mean that God is not present, that He is not completely sovereign in everything.

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that God “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” The Greek word for “upholds” means “to carry”.

This concept of “carry” brings the concept of movement or progress. Jesus Christ is directing and carrying all things towards His sovereign purpose. God carries and is responsible for the entire universe.

The Book of Job gives us the ultimate lesson in regards to tragedy and God’s Sovereignty. Here we have Job, who was held in high esteem for his righteousness and was even compared to Noah and Daniel and here he is going through unimaginable suffering and it is God who is doing it.

Job 23:13-14, says:

“But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.”

There it is, “What He desires, He does.”

God does exactly what He desires.

Psalm 22:28 says “For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.”

Isaiah 46:10 says that God declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”

God is in control. He always has been and He always will be. He is in control on your best days, your bad days and your worst day.

God does permit tragedy and the tragedy this morning....yes, He was in control.

Now, this may not be comfortable to you. You may say I don’t want that God. I want nothing to do with a God that would permit this sort of tragedy, this sort of pain.

Let me be clear about this. You have no choice. This is indeed the God of the Bible, the Only God, The God that came to earth, lived a perfect life, was crucified and rose on the third day. You may say that you don’t want that God but there is no other God. A rejection of this God means punishment in hell, an eternity separated without Him.

John Stott, a highly respected Christian author, said this about suffering:

“The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation. Its distribution and degree appear to be entirely random and therefore unfair. Sensitive spirits ask if it can be reconciled with God’s Justice and love.”

It is true; it will not take you long when talking to an unbeliever for the issue of evil and suffering to be brought up. It has been described as the “Ultimate Trump Card”.

Evil is absolute proof that God does not exist. Atheists grab on to it. Agnostics grab on to it and for the professing Christian, suffering will test whether you trust in Jesus Christ as your savior or whether you are simply a religious or moral person. You see religion and morality will not sustain you in the midst of trials, pain and suffering. Only Christ will. Jesus Christ is the only one that can sustain you.

Pastor John Piper says that “Wimpy Christians won’t survive the days ahead.”

Of course there is no such thing as a wimpy Christian. He is referring to those that claim the Christian faith but do not have Jesus as their Lord. He is not the center of their life. Christ is merely a Genie in a bottle that we bring out when we need Him. This is not saving faith.

Now that we know that God does indeed permit tragedy, why does He allow it to occur?

Romans 8:28 is our model for this question. It says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Now here is the Apostle Paul saying essentially that all things that occur are working together for good. Paul was keenly aware of tragedy and suffering. Prison, shipwrecks, beatings, hunger and eventual martyrdom. This was Paul’s life.

Surely he can’t mean tragedies such as the one this morning? How else should you interpret the word “All.” I am not a theologian but I know what that word means. It means everything that happens and in this context of scripture it means that everything that happens, will be for the good for those that are chosen to be saved by God.

Could that mean, God’s children could suffer? Could that mean His people could die? Could lose love ones, could suffer enormous pain? Yes, that is what “All” means.

From this morning’s incident, what is or will be working together for good?

It is ok to say “I don’t know” here. We don’t always know. What good came out of the death of my dad’s partner? What about my wife losing her father at the age of four? What good could come out of this tragedy this morning?

It isn’t always clear to us and God owes us no explanation. Sometimes it is clear.

On May 8, 2006, Fairfax County, Virginia Police Detective Vicky Armel was just 40 years old when she was gunned down in the parking lot of her police station. Master Police Officer Michael Garbarino was killed in the same incident.

Vicki left behind a son, a daughter and a husband. And just like this morning, you may ask why?

And our God, in the most gracious manner showed us a little of Romans 8 in this incident.

You see, two years earlier in the spring of 2004, Vicki came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. God used a faithful saint by the name of Mike Motafches, Vicki’s partner, to tell her about Jesus Christ and upon being converted to Christ; Vicki gave a moving testimony at her home church.

Vicki’s funeral occurred during National Police Week in Washington D.C. Once a year, in the Month of May, thousands of police officers gather in Washington D.C. to pay tribute to the fallen officers from the previous year. In May 2010, we will be paying tribute to the four officers that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their community this morning.

I was there that year, in 2006. I knew officers that actually went to Vicki’s funeral. Because Fairfax County was so close to Washington D.C., thousands of officers from around the world went to Vicki’s funeral and that testimony she gave a few years earlier……It was taped and it was played back for thousands of officers to hear.

Thousands of Police Officers heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the mouth of a slain Police Detective that day. At that very moment, Vicki was in Heaven with her Savior, with God and thousands here on earth heard her words, heard the Gospel from her.

Vicki’s death was tragic but God in His love and mercy and kindness, works all things together for good.

Now these “all things” that the Apostle Paul discusses includes evil things and that brings us to the final question. Why evil persists and why God permits this evil to affect so many lives.

Evil is anything that violates God’s moral will. The first human evil occurred when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden and that original sin is passed down to all of us. Indeed, Romans 3:10-12 says that “no one is righteous, no one seeks for God, no one does good.” Verse 12 finishes with these words, “not even one.”

Now that is hard to take isn’t it? No one, not even one is good. That includes me. That includes you.

While our evil will likely not manifest into the actions of the coward this morning in the State of Washington, we are indeed evil. It is our nature.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

You see we are quick to see what happened this morning and say that is evil…that is pure evil.

But do we see that evil in ourselves? We minimize our sin because unlike this morning, we don’t actually see the pain that it causes. It is easy to see this or another tragedy and identify the behavior as evil but our actions, our behaviors, while not as high profile or outrageous to the world, they are absolutely an abomination to a Holy God.

Anything that violates God’s nature is evil and that includes our sin. Now some of us, including me have committed sins that have hurt others, hurt those we love and we see very clearly the evil that we do but we must understand that whether we see the results of our sin in others or not, our sin is an outrage to God.

Now we can’t afford to get this wrong and trust me there are many, many that have this wrong. Just about anyone you ask will tell you that they are basically a good person. Millions are walking the earth thinking that if they do more good than bad, they will find favor with God. This is not true and these false beliefs will damn more to hell than all the bars in this world combined.

Do you still think you are a good person? Let’s take a look at just some of God’s standards.

Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Have you always honored your parents? Jesus said that if you look with lust, you have committed adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:28) and he elevates anger to murder (Matthew 5:21).

The point here is that you are evil. I am evil and while your evil may not manifest itself into suffering that you can see, it is never the less hated by God and will be punished by God.

At the age of 25, in the year 1750, John Newton was the commander of an English slave ship. He anchored his ship off of the African coast and purchased slaves. As many as 600 slaves would lay down like logs at the bottom of his ship as they would sail to the Caribbean and sell the slaves.

John Newton raped female slaves, he permitted his employees to rape them. Hundreds would die in the journey and John Newton reveled in hating God and everything He stood for. That is of course until he experienced a conversion to Christ. God radically changed his heart and saved him for the judgment that was awaiting him for his evil deeds. Newton spent the last half of his life pastoring a church and speaking out against the slave trade.

Just before his death, at the age of 82, Newton said this: “My memory is nearly gone but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.”

You may recognize the famous hymn written by John Newton:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, Was blind but now I see.

What about you? Are you blind? Are you lost or can you see?

If you can see the evil and the sin that you are guilty of, then God is working in you. He has made you aware of your need of a Savior. Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation and He saves wretches like John Newton, like me and like you.

This incident this morning in Parkland, Washington, was horrible. It was tragic. It was unthinkable and while we may search for answers, there really is only one answer.

His name is Jesus Christ. He is the sovereign God over all of the Universe and he came to earth on a mission. To save sinners and to redeem our evil deeds. He was perfect, spotless and he was slain on a tree.

Jesus, the God Man rose from the grave three days later and today he sits at the right hand of the Father and is calling for you to repent, turn from your sins and believe in Him. To trust Him.

Call on the Lord Jesus Christ. Call on Him to save you and follow Him the rest of your days, during the good times and the bad.

May God bless the Parkland, Washington community, may God comfort those that are in mourning and show them that all things work together for good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pastor Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler, Pastor of The Village Church in Dallas collapsed Thanksgiving morning and he has been diagnosed with a small mass on his frontal lobe. He will see a neurosurgeon next week. Please join me in prayer for Matt, his family and his church.

Take Up The Shield - Lowest Price Ever

We have been so blessed for the writing and subsequent distribution to thousands of first responders of the book, Take Up The Shield.
Not only was it written by the founder of Ten-Four Ministries, Tony Miano, we continue to have the opportunity to produce and distribute this book. We have many to thank for this including Tony Miano and Genesis Publishing.

We want to do everything we can to get this book in your hands and give you the opportunity to give it to a first responder.

Until January 1, 2010, you can purchase Take Up The Shield, with free shipping, for just $6. That is the cheapest you will find this resource. We hope you have the opportunity to give this important resource to someone this Christmas Season.

Click here to order the book and see our other specials.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Across America: City #15

The Columbus Police Department protects the 15th largest city in America. This week we ask you to pray for the Columbus Police Department and for Chief Walter L. Distelzweig. For the next 14 weeks Ten-Four Ministries will be contacting the police chiefs in the largest 50 cities in America and presenting them with The Gospel. This is an ongoing project called The Across America Project.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bible Truth Publications

Some say there is nothing that is free and Christians know otherwise. I recently met a man that has an incredible gift. A vivid expositor of scriptures along with an incredible ability to write. Pastor Doug Renne' has taken his God gifted talent and produced several publications. He spent massive resources to enable him to offer these books free of charge. He even offers them in bulk to pastors.

I was taken back when Doug shared one of his books with me and he told me they were just sitting in his basement because his website no longer worked. Well, that is taken care of and Doug's site is back up offering his publications free of charge as a download and at a small fee if you want them printed.

You can see Doug's books at

I love guys like Doug and there are thousands of them around us. Faithful men and women of Christ taking there talents and using them in a humble fashion (sometimes just items sitting in a basement) to further the Gospel.

Let me encourage you to visit Doug's site, send him a note of encouragement and if you are able, help him financially with what he has done. Ten-Four Ministries hopes to ensure that these wonderful writings never go out of print.

One Heartbeat Away

We just received a wonderful resource by Mark Cahill and are offered at a price of just $10 in our store. This is a wonderful book to give to an unbeliever. Mark has a passion for Law Enforcement and there have been many officers that have received this book.

You can order this book here along with free shipping.

We have several specials in our store through Christmas which include low prices on our favorite resources for witnessing to others.

Until Christmas day we are offering free shipping on all products and we have an all-time low price on our favorite resource for police officers, Take Up The Shield.

You can see all of our specials here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

News 9 Exclusive: Armor of God Project

What's A Life Worth

Seminole County Sheriff Shannon Smith lost two deputies to gunfire. He grieves for them every day and wonders if they had bullet proof vests, if they would have had a chance to survive.

Officer Renfro used to patrol the town of Porter without any protections but thanks to the Armor of God Project, he has a bullet proof vest. Officer Renfro said that's a relief for him and his family.
Enlarge this picture

The Armor of God Project is a non-profit organization that takes old and unused vests and distributes them to officers in need. They even do next day shipping because they understand what a difference a day can make. By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- We expect our law enforcement to protect us, but who is protecting them? The Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police say 40 percent of all city police departments do not have bullet proof vests because they can’t afford them.

Out of Oklahoma’s 77 sheriff’s departments, the overwhelming majority have to depend on grants. The grants generally only cover half the cost and are not always available.

See the full list of bullet proof vests needs in Oklahoma.

Seminole County Sheriff Shannon Smith knows that pain. The moments his two deputies were shot and killed in July replay like nightmares he can’t shake.

“I think about it at least once a day, at least once a day,” said Sheriff Smith.

Neither Captain Marvin Williams nor Deputy Chase Whitebird were wearing bullet proof vests the day they were ambushed by a gunman. They would have been wearing them, but they didn’t have vests of their own.

“Budgets just don’t allow for this type of safety equipment. It’s just too expensive,” Sheriff Smith said.

It’s a problem a young officer from Porter knows all too well. He patrols the streets for the town of 550.

“They don’t generate enough revenue to purchase every officer a bullet proof vest,” said Officer Renfro.

The fact that officers like Renfro have to walk the streets without the insurance needed weighs heavily on Travis Yates. The Tulsa officer has helped start what’s called The Armor of God Project.

“It’s a matter of life and death. I mean I’ve never been a part of something like this where it’s literally a matter of life and death,” Yates said.

The project is shared with a lieutenant named Clint Reck in Alabama. That’s where the program’s warehouse holds hundreds of bullet proof vests that are just waiting to save a life.

“We’ve had departments tell us we burn our vests or we turn them into tires. Those departments need to say ‘We’ve got to help others.’” Yates said.

That’s what the Armor of God project is about. A bullet proof vest costs anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars, but departments that are lucky enough to have funding for vests have to get rid of them after the 5 year manufacturer warranty expires.

“Everybody’s worried about liability in this country and we’ve got officers here working without vests,” said Clint Reck.

The project collects the vests that would otherwise be thrown away and gives them to guys like Officer Renfro who has no qualms about accepting a hand-me-down. It’s more protection than he’s ever had or likely will.

“They are giving me a chance to come home to my family every single night no matter what happens. This is a relief. I feel relief. That goes for my wife, my new baby, my mom, and my dad,” Officer Renfro said, holding back tears.

The chance to fight for life is very real. Two lives have already been saved by the project that is still in its infancy.

“About 70 percent of the vests given to us are in better shape or the same shape that I wear every day. Often times, the vests we get are from guys that have desk duty in big departments. They are brand new,” Yates said. “Think about it. Everything has a warranty. Your T.V. has a warranty. Our cars have warranties. They don’t stop working the day the warranty expires. We’ve taken these vests. We’ve shot them. They work. Like I said, two lives have already been saved.”

Without help, small departments have to rely on grants to get vests. The grant pays half and the department pays half. That was the case with Seminole County. The department had been approved. The deputies had been measured. However, the money did not arrive in time.

“I would give anything for those guys to have had good vests on that day. If we could’ve gotten it the day of, it may have been different,” Sheriff Smith said.

His department’s vests have finally come in, but Smith had to make the difficult call of canceling the ones that were supposed to go to the two men who lost their lives in July. He considers Captain Marvin Williams’ and Deputy Chase Whitebird’s families and grieves for them every day. Although it’s unclear if vests would have made a difference, Smith said he would’ve liked them to have had the chance.

“That’s the one thing I would like to come out of this whole deal is something to be done to help other officers so these guys don’t die in vain. I wouldn’t want anybody to have to go through the grief we’re going through…the grief now and in the years to come,” said Sheriff Smith.

Funding levels are unlikely to change for Oklahoma law enforcement, especially in the currently tough economic situation. It’s why law enforcement leaders say they hope communities will take charge. It’s believed most people don’t realize that their officers and deputies may be going to work without the protection they need.

Some communities have gathered to host fundraisers to help buy their departments vests. Others will likely turn to the new option the Armor of God Project provides. The project is a non-profit and ships the vests the next day after paperwork is processed because they know what the difference of a day can mean on the job. It costs $11 to ship a vest and donations are appreciated.

Often times, Yates and Reck dip into their own pockets to ship the life savers. Learn how you can help the Armor of God Project.

The project actually started as a church project to help law enforcement in the Philippines. That was before they realized so many officers in our own country have to go unprotected. Any officer that gets a vest from the program does have to sign a liability waiver.

The Oklahoma Association of Police Chief also runs a surplus program to help departments.

Courtesy: News 9 - Oklahoma City

Monday, November 16, 2009

Across America: City #16

The Austin Police Department protects the 16th largest city in America. This week we ask you to pray for the Austin Police Department and for Chief Art Acevedo. For the next 15 weeks Ten-Four Ministries will be contacting the police chiefs in the largest 50 cities in America and presenting them with The Gospel. This is an ongoing project called The Across America Project.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Truth Is What Matters

My good brother in Christ, fellow Law Enforcement Officer and Ten-Four Ministries Board Member Tom Brozycki discovered this video and posted it at his Ministry Site, Shields of the Shepherd. If you are in the Orange County, New York area, I highly recommend Tom's small group fellowship.

If you have followed Ten-Four Ministries for more than a week or so, you would know that we highly respect and endorse Pastor John Macarthur and one of the reasons we like him so much is his unwavering commitment to the truth.

Law Enforcement in particular has a nose for what is the truth versus what is a lie and that in and of itself is one of the huge stumbling blocks to Christianity by Law Enforcement.

From being in the profession for over 16 years, I can tell you that for the most part, the Christianity that Law Enforcement is confronted with is generally in one of two camps.

1. The local minister that instead of preaching God's Word, they stand up on Sunday and trash the Police for the latest "story" they may have heard in the community. This same minister will likely stand in front of news cameras or in front of a boycott line and you guessed it. Instead of proclaiming the Gospel, throw mud at the Police.

2. A Preacher that tells the Police, likely at a funeral of one of their own (since that is likely the only time most in Law Enforcement will enter a Church) that "there is a special place in Heaven for Law Enforcement Officers." or "Blessed are the Peacemakers, and you as Peacemakers are children of God."

Both items above are absolute junk and the lost Law Enforcement Officers I meet know it. They can smell a lie. It is there job.

So with that said, if you are new to our small ministry to the Nation's Finest, we will not mix words and we will call a heretic a heretic and a lie a lie. There are too many lies being told and they get in the way of what is truly important, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As you may suspect, there is more to come on this topic. This ministry is not in the business of doing things to just make folks "feel better". We want to tell you the truth. In a world where truth is one's opinion and simply "relative", we want to tell you the only truth that matters.


His name is Jesus Christ and he came to Earth more than 2000 years ago and lived among us but there was a difference between Him and the rest of the world. Jesus Christ was God and he left Heaven (John 8:58), humbled Himself and was born of a virgin. He was on an incredible journey. He healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, cast out demons, feed thousands with a few loaves of bread. he calmed the storms and confronted the heretics of His day. Simply put, this Man names Jesus did exactly what you would expect God to do if He came to earth as a Man.

Jesus Christ was God. You can deny Him, you can say that makes no sense but the truth is, Jesus did not do these things alone. There were hundreds of witnesses to what He did and more than just the Bible talks about them. Just a quick glance at the history books of the day and the evidences that are apparent to even those that rejected Him, will tell you these things happened.

They will even tell you that the one thing happened that could have only happened if Jesus was God. Approximately 30 years after Jesus was born and lived a perfect life (He never sinned), Jesus was crucified. He was murdered for His claims of being God and the threat that imposed on the Government. All of this happened just as the Old Testament prophesy said it would. Written hundreds of years earlier by the Prophets:

"By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence,and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;" Isaiah 53:8-10


More than 300 Messianic prophecies like this were made in the Old Testament and then fulfilled through Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Experts will tell us that the chances of one person fulfilling a mere eight of these prophecies are one-in-100,000,000,000,000,000. For one person to fulfill 48 of these prophecies, the number becomes staggering – one chance in 10-to-the-157th power. Add to that the 250 other prophecies, and it becomes impossible for any other person except Jesus to ever fit that particular sequence of time and events.

You see, Jesus did die but His death wasn't the end and what happened next is why you are hearing about Him. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day and He showed Himself to over 500 witnesses. Many of them chose to die proclaiming His name in the future years of early Christianity.

Now at this point, you can tell yourself those men were just crazy or all of this was a myth, an urban legend, nothing much more than Santa Claus but you really don't believe that. You can't believe that if you are a logical person and if you are in law enforcement, investigate it yourself. After all, with what is on the line, you would be the crazy one to not look into this Man named Jesus.

So why did Jesus die? He died because it was the only way for the human race to be saved. Now at this point you may be saying that you are a good person, after all you enforce the law, you abhore evil, you do what is right. You are not the criminal. In fact, you lock up the criminals.

Well, that is where you and myself were wrong. We can't look at ourselves the way we or society looks at what is right and wrong. Compared to society in general, maybe you are a good person but you see, this Jesus was Perfect, Holy, Righteous and He looks at right and wrong differently.

In Jesus' encounter with the Rich, Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-26), He told him that he needed to keep the commandments. Have you ever lied or stolen? Have you always honored your father and mother? Have you used God's name in vain (blasphemy) Have you loved your neighbor as yourself? Has God always been the most important thing to you?

You may say, well I haven't murdered or committed adultery but Jesus said that if you are angry with your brother you are guilty (Matthew 5:21) and if you have looked at someone with lust, you have committed adultery (Matthew 5:27).

What is the point here.

Romans 3:10 says it well: "no one is good, not even one."

None of us can make it to Heaven based on our good works because in God's eyes, we have no good works. The prideful, self righteous are like the rich, young ruler(Matthew 19:16). He was futile in trying to keep the commandments to enter the Kingdom. No one can keep them and that is why a sacrifice had to be payed on the behalf of sinners.

Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and was murdered. He and He alone was that sacrifice. It is because of Jesus that we can have everlasting life. The alternative is Hell, a place where the "worm never dies and the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:48.

The Bible is clear that many will go to Hell.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:13-14).


So what is the answer. Jesus Christ is the answer. He is the only answer. This salvation is a Gift. A free gift. You can do nothing to receive it. There is no amount of good deeds you can do; You can't walk an aisle do receive it; Saying a sinner's prayer doesn't give it to you. There is nothing you can do to receive it.

So there it is. There is the truth. I'm not here to give you a soft, candy message that makes you feel good. The Gospel has always and still is divisive.

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34

But you deserve to know the truth. Jesus did not come to earth and die so that you can get promoted, or get a nicer car, or always be healthy, or have a wonderful life. He died for sinners. On the Cross, He took the Wrath of God. He drank from that cup (Luke 22:42) and He drank every bit of the Wrath that we deserve as sinners. He was a Propitiation for Sin; He payed the price. Isn't that enough?

The question is, do you believe that?

Do you believe that Jesus is the only God and he was raised from the dead?

Do you see your sin as an abomination to a Holy God (Proverbs 8:7)?

Has God enabled you to repent of your sin, turn from your sin(Mark 1:15).

Has God opened your eyes to the mystery of Him and His Kingdom (Matthew 13:11, Ephesians 1:9)?

Do you trust everything to Jesus?

These are the words of Jesus, the Savior of the world: "And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:38).

"Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me' (Matthew 16:24).

How are these things possible? How can a person deny their pride, their lustful thoughts, their sin, their status in the community and believe in Someone that will literally make people hate you (John 15:18)?

Through the grace of God, a gift of God. It is through His love, His glory, for Him and only Him.

Jesus said that you must be "born again" to see the Kingdom of God and that can only happen if God gives you that gift (John 3:3).

Call out to the one true God, Jesus, The Savior that was raised from the dead and ask Him to save you (Romans 10:13).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The Disciples of Jesus will be known, they will be different.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

They will likely not be the ones representing Christianity that you despise, that you think is a joke, that are on television asking for your money or trashing the police.

The Saints of the Savior, my Savior will be different. While still battling sin, they will be on a daily walk with the Lord and a daily process of being made more like Jesus. They will be humble, meek, mild and not of this world (1 John 2:15). They may even be a little "weird" in the eyes of others but there is no doubt that they will stand out and they will love and give and care for you.

They will care for you enough to tell you the truth and that truth may not be exactly what you want to hear but my friend, it is the truth.

I care for you. Many are praying for you.

Sherwood Pictures: Next Film

Sherwood Pictures, the makers of Facing the Giants and Fireproof have announced their newest film to be released.

Courageous The Movie, will be about four Law Enforcement Officers: "Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives."

We are obviously excited about this new movie. Ten-Four Ministries was very involved in the promotion of Fireproof and sponsored a showing where 200 tickets were provided to first responders.

What role will Ten-Four Ministries play in this newest movie? We will play whatever role the filmakers see fit and we are excited about the outreach potential of this new movie.

We will certainly keep you updated.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Agony of Christ

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42

What did Jesus mean in the Garden when He agonized over "this cup"? What was Jesus worried about? Was He forced to go to the Cross? What can we learn about prayer in these passages from Luke?

Join Travis Yates, Director of Ten-Four Ministries, as he preaches from The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 39-46.

Across America: City #17

The Fort Worth Police Department protects the 17th largest city in America. This week we ask you to pray for the Fort Worth Police Department and for Chief Jeffrey Halstead. For the next 16 weeks Ten-Four Ministries will be contacting the police chiefs in the largest 50 cities in America and presenting them with The Gospel. This is an ongoing project called The Across America Project.

Update From Task Force Tagalitas

Ten-Four Ministries continues to get wonderful reports in from our partner in our efforts to present the Gospel to Law Enforcement around the world. Dr. Adiel H. De Torres with Task Force Tagalitas in the Philippines. Below are the latest photos from our partnership.

As the Chief of the Regional Human Resource and Doctrine Development, Lt. Col. Opena is responsible for the training and re-training of all PNP officer and personnels in the CALABARZON region. Lt. Opena has also professed faith in Jesus Christ.

The Highway Patrol Group is tasked with keeping the roads of the Philippines safe. They are presented with much needed traffic safety vests and copies of Take Up The Shield.

We are certainly humbled that God has provided this opportunity in the Philippines. We have an exciting announcement that will soon occur about this outreach. I look forward to passing that along to you.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Two-Sided Coin To God's Love

This is a wonderful exposition of John 3:16 and Romans 8:28 by Pastor Doug Renee. I was present for both messages and I promise you that they will bless and encourage.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Adoption: A Moving Testimony

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. Thousands of churches across the world will be discussing the need to take care of orphans. Below is the testimony of Tulsa Police Corporal Dan Ward, a Board Member with Ten-Four Ministries and leader with the Armor of God Project.

Dan's testimony about his adoption and ultimate salvation is moving. I encourage you to listen to it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Across America: City #18

The Memphis Police Department protects the 18th largest city in America. This week we ask you to pray for the Memphis Police Department and for Director Larry A. Godwin. For the next 18 weeks Ten-Four Ministries will be contacting the police chiefs in the largest 50 cities in America and presenting them with The Gospel. This is an ongoing project called The Across America Project.