Do You Know How to Protect Yourself If…?

Do You Know How to Protect Yourself If…?

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Do you know how to protect yourself in the event of an attack at your home or office?

Are your home and office hard or soft targets?

If an attacker grabbed you or your loved one, what is your fastest and most effective response?

If you were caught in a surprise attack at close range, are you confident that you can protect yourself and disable your attacker?

In the event of a natural disaster, how do you help yourself or those in need?

Earlier this year, my wife, Lori, and I, teamed up with Executive Operations Group, to build a private shooting range at Liberty Ridge Ranch, our 125 acre property just a few miles outside Chattanooga in Bradley County, TN (Cleveland).

Executive Operations Group (EOG) was founded by my friend Dr. Omar Hamada, a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Special Forces (Airborne) who is an accomplished physician and business executive living in middle Tennessee with his wife and four children. 

special-forces-desertThe EOG instructors are world-class, combat-hardened ex-Special Forces, Delta, SEAL, and CIA veterans. They include martial artists and MMA coaches and champions. These are not your ordinary NRA-Certified Instructors or your average self-trained survival guys. These are the best in the world combat-experienced guys who have real world life and death experience. They have fought for our country and their passion continues to make our world a better and safer place. And that means getting you the training you need. Each trainer has an estimated $1 Million+ worth of training invested in them by the US government.

pistol1-1024x681EOG will be holding the following two courses at Liberty Ridge Ranch in the next few weeks:

Pistol Training Program:  October 28-29

Executive Operations Survival Training:  November 16-20

To find out more about each program, including cost, visit EOG’s website at http://executiveoperationsgroup.com/

Each class is limited to 15 students so don’t delay.  They are sure to fill up fast.  

Come with a desire to learn and the passion to make your life and the lives of those around you better and safer.

If you want Hands-on personalized training from Special Operators — the most elite warriors in the world — experienced in real world military engagements, then EOG will give you the skills necessary to protect you and your family in the event of a terrorist or criminal attack, a natural disaster, or other real life emergencies.

Don’t delay.  Be sure to check out their website and consider signing up today.  

Mark

If You Reject Hillary & Trump Here are Some Options

If You Reject Hillary & Trump Here are Some Options

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In my post earlier this week, I attempted to make the case for what happens when one votes for the lesser evil and how that ultimately results in a continued race to the bottom of the barrel.  If this year’s election proves anything, it should affirm that truth, with a couple of candidates who may be amongst the most depraved and immoral ones in our nation’s history. 

In the same article, I also attempted to lay the groundwork for why the Bible affirms that when confronted with evil, of any kind or in any setting, the Christian is called to reject it, have no fellowship with it, and to even expose it.  I often hear the response, “well, we’re not electing a pastor in chief” to which I respond, “ok, but where in scripture does it limit our rejection of evil to simply when we are selecting a pastor?

That said, if you’re reading this post, then I assume you may either 1) be curious about more of my rants and ramblings,  2) you truly are interested in exploring your options because you find both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton unfit to serve as President of the United States, or 3) you want to see just how crazy I am.

Consider these statistics about the feelings of Americans:

  • 57% of Americans believe a 3rd Party is needed (up from 46% in 2012) and 51% of Republicans agree, according to Gallup.
  • 33% of Americans believe Hillary Clinton would be a good/great President while 25% believe the same about Donald Trump.  Gallup
  • Trust in political leaders is at an all time low, with just 42% of Americans having a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust.  Gallup

Given these numbers, it’s highly likely that we will see a record number of voters either stay home, vote only the down ballot, or vote third party or independent.  

So in the chart at the bottom of this post, I have attempted to layout just a few of the other “credible” alternatives that are available for those interested.   While I started with a larger slate, as I continued my research I narrowed it greatly.  I have presented the positions on key issues from these final candidates primarily from their websites and/or platforms.  But in a case or two I have gone to the internet to quote their positions from interviews they have given.  If you want to see the more than 400 Presidential candidates, you can find them here.  

Wasting Your Vote

I am told by some that voting for a candidate other than the Republican or Democrat means you just wasted your vote.  There are several responses to that perspective but first, if you follow that logic, then voting for any loser was a wasted vote.  So if my vote for a candidate who did not win is a waste, then it must stand to reason if you vote for Trump and he loses then your vote is a waste as well.  Furthermore, under that line of reasoning, if you voted for Romney four years ago, or even your local dog catcher (if he lost), you wasted your vote as well.  That hardly makes sense. 

I would never assert your vote is a waste, regardless of who you voted for.  I may disagree, but it’s rather presumptuous of me to assert that your vote, cast from your personal values and beliefs, is a waste.  That’s the height of mocking and belittling someone’s deeply held convictions and a very arrogant attitude to assert that someone else must vote as you believe.  In fact, it may border on the kind of elections that Saddam Hussein would have expected you to participate in.  Vote as he demands or else!

But let me move to a different angle.  While as Americans we are conditioned to win, voting should not be about just winning.  Fundamentally it should be about expressing your values.  Where those values can align with a candidate and actually win, that is the best outcome for you and your values.  But when one wholeheartedly sacrifices those values, particularly when those values are deep, fundamental and non-negotiable, one’s character is diminished, and ultimately the character of the nation devolves.  Many of our founding fathers spoke about voting and I think their views are worth being reminded of.  I’ve included a few below:

Founding Fathers on Voting

Noah Webster

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate.  Look to his character. When a citizen gives his suffrage [vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.”

Samuel Adams

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men.

John Witherspoon

Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .And the people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

James Garfield

Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.

Frederick Douglass

I have one great political idea. .  .  That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics – the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.

What’s at Stake

I am fully aware of what is at stake in this election.  As someone who has been on the front lines of the battle for our Constitutional Republic politically and culturally for the last decade, I can recite very succinctly the threats that are posed to you, me and our nation.  The loss of religious liberty.  The loss of the second amendment.  The loss of free speech.  The further encroachment on civil liberties and property rights. The increasing attack on Life and Marriage.  The further opening of our borders and national sovereignty.  Increasing terrorism.  And more and more.  

Yes, our nation hangs in the balance.  But as bad as that is, or perhaps because it is so bad, I must turn to God and His Word for instruction and direction.  And if one is willing to study, search and dig, it’s not only amazing, but encouraging to find how much is in the Word of God that speaks to the very issues we are facing.  Truthfully, doing so will give you peace in the midst of this Cat 4 storm we appear to be in.

One story in the Old Testament stands out in particular, that is no doubt familiar to you.  Recall the three Hebrew young men, millennials perhaps, living in the Babylonian empire as captives.  They were faced with a dire choice.  That choice was not on par with losing their right to bear arms, or their freedom of speech, or even simply religious liberty.  It was actually much, much worse.  They were threatened with the loss of their very lives in a fiery furnace if they refused to obey the king.  And yet, read their response:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

While these exemplary young men knew their God could save them, they also understood He might not.  But they trusted Him with their lives nonetheless.  And God delivered them.

So this is the question I ponder:  Is it to much for me to do something lesser and trust God with my nation? 

Biblical References

Let me close with some references from the ultimate source for me, God’s Word.  For right or wrong, my default is to seek God’s views on all matters of life. Given that He created it all, and we are navigating through His world, I subscribe to the notion that one should look to the owners manual for instruction.  For me, that owners manual is the Bible.  As you read the passages below, I encourage you to continue to seek God in prayer, asking Him to make your decision clear.  He promises to do so, if we will ask, and when He does, you will gain a supernatural peace.

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…”  Exodus 18:21

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”  Daniel 2:21

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, have a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!  2 Peter 3:1-5

“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”  I Thessalonians 5:21-22

“And why not say, Let us do evil that good may come?”  Romans 3:8

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  I Corinthians 10:31

“The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”  Proverbs 29:25

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

My Vote

I have had a number of readers ask me about who I plan to vote for so I will share that openly.  While I am in agreement with many of the positions for each of the candidates below, I have some non-negotiable values as well.  And given those non-negotiables, two of the candidates disqualified themselves for me.  So the individual I plan to cast my vote for, barring any other “new information” that might come to light, is Darrell Castle with the Constitution Party.  The Party’s website is extensive with a strong and very detailed description of their views on all of the salient issues of our day.  And while there are a couple I may not agree with wholeheartedly, on the fundamentals for me, the Constitution Party is solid.  (In Tennessee where I live I will have to write-in the name Darrell Castle as may be the case in your state as well.)

Finally, consider the down ballot as you go to the polls, regardless of your Presidential pick.  At the end of the day, the many lesser positions can have a profound impact on our lives as well, particularly in your local community.  So I encourage you to apply the same standard to those other choices as you diligently and prayerfully make your selections.

As indicated in my previous article, I welcome your thoughts, critiques, and feedback. This continues to be a learning and growth process for me so your perspective is always valued and respected.

Mark

NOTE:  Chart below works best on computer or to view on your phone click here.

The Bible, Guns & Self-Defense

The Bible, Guns & Self-Defense

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Perhaps one of the greatest areas of division in our nation today is the debate over guns.  For the last several decades we have seen politicians, celebrities, corporations and even religious groups come out against the idea that Americans should be able to own guns, and carry them on their person.  Firearms known as “assault rifles” — in particular AR-15’s — have been heavily targeted by activists and politicians.

Despite our national debate, our Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, codifies this fundamental right with these words:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

To keep and bear arms…”  Can there be any clearer wording?  But for what purpose was that right codified?  

Of course, the phrase just before those five words, provides some insights:  “the security of a free state.

Whenever there is a discussion of the right to bear arms, people generally cite one or more of these three reasons for owning guns:

  1. For hunting
  2. For self defense and personal protection
  3. To maintain a free state (and stave off tyranny).

It should be clearly noted that the 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting.  Rather, when the 2nd Amendment affirms that “a well regulated militia [is] necessary to the security of a free state” it is clearly inferring that without arms, a state is more likely to descend into tyranny.  Armed citizens pose a tangible threat to political leaders whose intents are less than pure.  

But there is a deeper value than simply staving off tyranny.  

Self-Defense

At the heart of preserving a free state is the idea of self-defense.  One does not seek to preserve a free state simply for the value of the state, but ultimately for the benefit that flows to the individual.  Thus, it is the epitome of self-preservation to maintain a free state.  As such, the foundational value to the 2nd Amendment is self-defense.

I have discussed and debated this topic over the years with friends on both sides of the issue.  Some opponents have occasionally cited scriptural passages to assert their belief that guns should be banned, or at the very minimum, greatly restricted.

But one would have to be completely illiterate of dozens of Biblical passages to suggest that God opposes the concept of people possessing and using weapons.  Today, I’d like to highlight just a few such passages that not only establish clear examples of the concept of self-defense, but more importantly, they teach a principle any responsible person should incorporate into their own lives.

The stories of Esther and Nehemiah both highlight the principle of self-defense and how these two individuals, greatly used by God, would not have prevailed, but for the role of weapons, and the personal ownership and use of arms by ordinary citizens.

Esther

In Esther, we read the story about the attempted annihilation of the Jews by Haman, an evil government official who was second in command to King Xerxes.  Through deception, Haman convinced King Xerxes to issue a mortal decree which we read of in Esther 3:

The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen on March 7 of the next year. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them. (Esther 3:12-13)

When Haman’s malicious plot was uncovered and he ultimately lost his life over it, King Xerxes issued another decree that granted the Jews the authority to defend themselves (their version of the 2nd Amendment):

The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies. (Esther 8:11)

And we see a few verses later how the Jews exercised their right to self-defense:

On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them.  But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. (Esther 9:1-2, 5)

Did you note the reference to a sword?  (I wonder if that sword might have been an Assault Sword, perhaps referred to as an AS-15?)

If there’s one thing that should be learned from this story, it is that the Jews were held up as an example of what to do when threatened by an enemy.  Passive submission was not the default.  Rather, these ordinary citizens picked up their arms and actively sought to defend their families and property.  It should also be noted that as the enemies who sought the Jews harm realized the Jews were armed and prepared to defend themselves, many of the enemies backed away from the fight, illustrating that strength acts as a deterrent.

Nehemiah

In the story of Nehemiah, the setting is in Jerusalem as the Jews are seeking to rebuild the wall around the city.  As they are working day and night to complete their task, we again find the Jews threatened by an enemy that seeks to harm and kill them.  Nehemiah, their governor, is a wise man whose walk with God is exemplary.  Upon seeing the threat posed by the enemies of the Jews, the governor encourages his citizens to fight:

The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”  So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:12-14)

Because the threat was imminent and ongoing, Nehemiah and his fellow citizens even found it necessary to remain armed at all times as we see here:

During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. (Nehemiah 4:23)

So in just these two biblical examples, we see support for the underlying principle in the Second Amendment, self-defense.  If the time allowed, we could cite dozens more.

But here’s where the rubber meets the road for you. 

Pressure will no doubt intensify in the coming months to restrict and control gun ownership, with the ultimate goal of subverting our Second Amendment and disarming you.  If you allow this to happen, or if you ultimately acquiesce to any unlawful “decree” by Washington, you will be ignoring the preponderance of history that reveals that a disarmed citizenry leads to an oppressed people. But more importantly, you will be violating a fundamental biblical principle, the value of self-defense, which is not only your right, but your obligation to stand for your family, and others who are threatened by thugs, criminals… and politicians.  

If you are a gun owner and want to learn how to better handle your weapon, we will be hosting a Basic Self-Defense Course at our private shooting range at Liberty Ridge Ranch October 28-29.  The course, led by elite instructors from the US Army Special Forces, will be a day and a half event and will provide you with the rock-solid foundation for protecting yourself, and your loved ones.  Spots are very limited.  For more info, please email me at [email protected] or click reply, if you received this as an email.  

Mark