Here’s our Guatemalan Christian school that I am visiting now, along with the church.
Here’s our Guatemalan Christian school that I am visiting now, along with the church.
IT’s been nine months since I visited my old church in Guatemala City. This time I was able to bring five people from my new church in Van Nuys AND my pastor from Santa Monica, Rob Scribner of the Lighthouse Church. It’s exciting to see how God is rescuing people.
Chris Perez fell out of his Christian upbringing in Los Angeles when his parents moved him into the public schools.
Prior to age 13, he attended Christian school, but in the new environment in high school he started to hang out with the “muscle car guys.”
“I liked to hang around the muscle car guys, and they liked to do dope,” Chris says on a Vimeo video produced by his church. “So eventually I got into dope.”
Soon he was having run-ins with the law.
“When I get in trouble, I get in trouble,” he emphasizes. “I got two DUIs in two weeks.”
He started making drugs, running to get stuff for his friends.
“I know I was their guinea pig but I liked the lifestyle,” Chris remembers. “It was fast, it was different, it was something new every night and every day. Running from the cops and things.”
Due to his run-ins with the law, Chris got acquainted with several institutions — from rehabilitation centers to psychiatric wards. He started taking medication for depression and bipolar disorders.
Chris decided to apply within his company for a transfer to Arizona. His geographic location changed, but his heart remained the same. He was in the mines of Arizona — and he was getting into jail again.
“I was in a horrible relationship with alcohol and drugs.”
His struggles persisted for two years until he got fed up. “I was in a bondage and was stuck in this place.” Please keep reading click here: what is the difference between a Christian school and the public school?
“I thought my life is over. I thought my marriage was over. I would lose my family,” country star Dave Robbins was grappling with his own unfaithfulness in the living room with his wife.
His wife hit him with a surprise question: “Do you think you’re saved?”
He had grown up in church: “I thought I was saved. I grew up in a church, knew about the Bible, knew about Jesus, but I didn’t feel saved. I felt separated, ashamed, full of guilt, full of fear, tormented, just tormented.”
Dave Robbins is a founding member of the multi-platinum country band Blackhawk, but ever-burgeoning success only increased temptation for him.
“I have spent an entire lifetime struggling with temptation. I have struggled with alcohol. I have struggled with sex. I have struggled with pornography.”
For seven years in his marriage he struggled with porn and almost ended his marriage with infidelity.
Dave decided to become sober. “I thought that would fix everything and all the other stuff would stop as well.”
But it didn’t.
He was living a double life.
There was another woman in his life. He tried to keep his wife in the dark. He was sexting random women.
For some reason, he thought the solution was to leave his wife and kids. That way, he would be free to pursue his wantonness. But as he pondered this “solution,” ultimately he felt miserable.
“It was sociopath stuff. It was crazy. I was just a dead person.”
Dave’s wife, Mary Lynn Robbins, finally figured out his secret schemes. Read the rest of how to save my marriage.
She thought she had overcome the trauma of her childhood through a relationship with God, but then her dad started stalking her again.
Esther Fleece built a successful career as a motivational speaker and writing pro. She had healthy friendships and accepted speaking engagements throughout the U.S.
She was talking in front of an audience of 15,000 when she got the news that made her blood run cold. Her dad had begun stalking her again after a 20 years reprieve. He was at her home.
“I never thought I’d see him again,” Esther says on an I am Second video produced by White Chair Films.
For many years, her childhood appeared normal enough. For reasons she does not know today, things turned south suddenly. Her mom was getting bruises, and they’d have to go to motels to sleep. Even though they lived in the suburbs, her mother would pick out clothes at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Young Esther was confused by all this.
Police showed up at her home so often she mistakenly believed they were friends with her father. But then she began to see the violent episodes. “It’s pretty hard to hide blood.”
“It was like my hero is becoming the most unsafe man that I had ever been around.”
While Esther was in school she immersed herself in after school activities and even ran for class president. She’d stay after school to be away from home.
People started noticing her bruises and that she did not have a place to sleep. “It was just awful.”
She’d go home and the locks would be changed. In her mind no one could be trusted.
She was called into court and ordered to testify, but had little grasp of what the proceedings were about. Somewhat bewildered, she meekly spoke about the problems. “Our home life was incredibly unstable, both of my parents hurt me, (but in court) I have to pick who I’m going to say nicer things about so I don’t get hit more when I go home.”
Her father was eventually taken away by the police and spent time in and out of jail.
When her father got out of jail, he was fixated with “rescuing” Esther. “He was very dangerous. Numerous times he tried kidnapping me.”
Her mother ended up marrying another man who was unfaithful. Esther discovered the affair and told her mom. The stepdad left.
“And that’s when my mother began hating me.”
At 13, she was forced to make it make it in the world on her own.
Esther graduated and took to writing. She found God and began sharing on how to overcome past trauma. This went on for 15 happy years.
Then in 2010, her biological father showed up and began stalking her.
Esther stayed with friends, attempting to hide herself from danger. She got restraining orders from court, which were all violated.
“The nightmares were terrible,” she says. “None of my coping mechanisms worked anymore. Busyness didn’t work, being performance driven didn’t work anymore. I just didn’t want to get out of the bed in the morning.”
All the old feelings of being unloved by her dad reared up once more. She felt her current successful life was just “plastic. Success could be taken away suddenly. I started hating life again. I didn’t want to get out of bed.”
Esther sought counseling, which she called a “Band-Aid.”
“The path towards healing and forgiveness was more excruciating than the physical threat to my safety,” she says. “How do I feel the full weight of what happened to me and seriously forgive people. How do I redefine what love is.” Read the rest of Her Own Dad was her Stalker.
Tedashii Lavoy Anderson was out to make his mark at Baylor University. He strove to be responsible and do the right thing, to be well-liked in school, in sports and on the social scene.
Then this random guy walked up to him three months into his freshman year.
“Hey, I heard you talk about yourself,” he told Tedashii. “I heard the jokes you made, the things you laughed about, the stories you told about the weekend.”
“I gotta be honest,” he continued. “I think the Bible would call that sin. Sin is when you disobey a holy God. There’s a real place called Heaven and a real place called Hell, and I don’t know if you’re gonna go to Heaven. You need a Savior.”
Tedashii’s competitive side suddenly flared, and he launched into a tirade insisting no one should judge him, especially someone who knew nothing about his struggles and background.
“I kind of shoved him down out of the way. I didn’t mean to put him on his back, but I did unintentionally,” Tedashii recounted in a YouTube video. “I kind of stepped over him and went to class angry because here’s this guy telling me I’m not good enough.”
Weeks later Tedashii was kicked off the football team due to injury, lost his scholarship, lost his girlfriend, and saw his parents separate. As a result, he couldn’t pay for college anymore.
Then the same random guy approached him and shared the gospel with him again. “God wants to have a relationship with you,” he told him.
This time, there was a completely different response. “A light bulb came on. I felt like I got a hug from the Father. I just dropped to my knees on campus and prayed to God. ‘I get it. God, I need a Savior.’”
The random guy became Tedashii’s best friend, and later became the best man in his wedding.
He suggested Tedashii rap for the Lord, and the now-famous Christian rapper initially laughed if off. Only after the Spirit dealt with Tedashii did he whip up a terrible rap that evoked only laughter at a campus talent show.
It was a flop, but the infection had started, and Tedashii was intrigued by the possibility of spreading the gospel through the popular medium of hip hop. He’s now recorded five projects with Reach Records and hit #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Music. He’s on Lecrae’s Reach Record label. Tedashii also appears in videos with Trip Lee, KB and others from 116 Clique.
Also known as T Dot, Tedashii lives in Denton, Texas, with his wife.
In March of 2013, he lost his youngest son, a one-year-old, to a sickness the hospital couldn’t treat, and the untimely death triggered a crisis of faith that led to substance abuse and jeopardized his marriage.
He learned about the tragedy on a flight returning from a concert. “I literally broke… Read how Tedashii fell into substance abuse, experienced strain on his marriage and finally overcame the grief.
From a very young age, Nepal-born Surya Bhandari had a fervent desire to please the Hindu god Shiva. Because Shiva smoked marijuana, Surya sought to please him by smoking weed himself — starting at age 8.
Then in the sixth grade he learned about the dangers of tuberculosis and cancer from smoking and began to question the wisdom of the god. Also, kids at school started pointing at him as a “bad kid” for his cannabis consumption.
“In my little mind, I started thinking, ‘Why do they call me bad?’” Surya remembers. “‘This great god Shiva smokes marijuana. Why would they call me bad? Is it really bad? If I am bad, then this god Shiva is bad. If he is bad, is he really a god?’”
He belonged to the priestly Brahman class, but he turned his back on Hinduism, called himself an “atheist,” started using other drugs and alcohol.
“This Shiva destroyed my life,” he reasoned. “I’m not able to quit smoking marijuana. Someday I’m going to get TB or cancer and I’m going to die, and this god is responsible.
“I became so angry.”
One day he had a dream of being chased by a tall figure clad in a white gown. He thought it was a ghost. It scared him so badly that he didn’t want to go to his usual taekwondo that morning and instead decided to distract himself by reading one of his older brother’s books.
His older brother had either left home or been kicked out — he wasn’t really sure — because he had secretly become a Christian and was attending underground meetings somewhere downtown.
As Surya thumbed through the volumes on the bookcase, he happened to pull out a slim volume, opened it and saw — to his utter surprise — a picture of the same white-clad figure. Suddenly his fear abated, and he continued to read eagerly. “It was God, not a ghost,” he concluded.
From that moment on, he wanted to become a Christian. But attending a church was no easy matter in those days in Nepal. Carrying a Bible was a crime worse than drug trafficking.
But Surya was determined. He begged an old friend of his brother to tell him where he could find the underground church that his brother attended. The young man was backslidden at the time and didn’t want to say anything. But after days of begging, Surya got him to relent and give him some rough directions.
The first chance he got he went eight miles away from his village to Pokhara. He liked the songs and listened intently without understanding much of the sermon. To his surprise after the service, nobody approached him or talked to him to explain things, and he was too shy to ask.
Maybe people were afraid of the strict anti-proselytizing laws. They could get into a lot of trouble if they were perceived as trying to convert someone. Also, some may have been cautious, because a newcomer might be a spy from the police.
But Surya didn’t understand all of this at the time. It seemed to him that God’s people were indifferent. The next time Surya went to church it was the same. Nobody talked to him. So he quit going.
Then he did something that brought great shame on his family. He flunked out of school. His parents scolded him constantly and his brothers beat him.
So he took to the streets. He would leave before anybody woke up. He would come home, entering through the window, after everybody was in bed. HIs grandmother always saved him some food.
He tried but found that he couldn’t quit drugs. Everybody in town called him a bad kid. Even the principal of the school saw fit to take him aside and rebuke him for bringing shame on his family.
All this was too much for Suryam and he began to contemplate suicide.
“I loved my father so much. I did not want to bring shame on my father,” he says, reasoning to himself at the time: “If I can’t bring a good name for him, I have no right to live.”
He decided to throw himself off a cliff and into a river near his town. Read the rest of Chrisitanity in Nepal
As a Palestinian born-again pastor in Los Angeles, Sameer Dabit sees himself as a bridge-maker.
“My dad grew up with a lot of wounds, so I grew up with the mindset of hating Jews and hating Muslims,” Sameer says. “When I got saved at age 16 and started reading scriptures for myself and learning more about God and history, I started to realize, ‘Hey wait a minute. I shouldn’t hate anybody.’”
Slowly, he began to form his own convictions about what he believes.
Sameer’s Arab father was born in Palestine in 1948 and was forced to move when the Jews took over the newly formed nation of Israel. So he resented the Jews.
But as an orthodox Christian, he also resented the Muslim Palestinians who subjected him to cruel jeering and constant antagonism in school, Sameer says.
When he came of age, dad decided to leave behind the nightmare of the Middle East, move to the United States, study and make his life in L.A. He worked hard at the front desk of a hotel, saved his money and bought properties.
Sameer got to know the simmering anger in his father for the injustices suffered, but he identified himself first and foremost as an American. He changed his name to Sam so that it was easier for classmates and elicited fewer questions about his origins. He loved football.
“I assimilated to America,” he says. “I identified myself more as American than Palestinian.”
Then he did something that went beyond his newfound cultural identification. He accepted Jesus into his heart.
At a basketball clinic run by a church, he liked the dynamic music, heard about the forgiveness of sins and wound up wondering why this environment was drastically different from the reverence and mysticism of his family’s religious practice.
Joining the born-again Christians in America created conflict with his dad, who wondered why his son left their church, got re-baptized and hung out with evangelicals who supported Zionism.
“It started to bring an interesting conflict between my dad and me,” says Sameer, now 31. “I was trying to help him understand that I understood where he was coming from. Whatever someone had done to him or his family, I don’t agree with. He was abused. But at the same time, I believe everyone has a right to a place to live, and at the time, the Jewish people were distributed around the world and suffered the Holocaust. That wasn’t right as well. They did need a place to live. Israel needed to be established again, and obviously that was Biblical.
“It was an interesting balance that I had to help him understand,” he says. “That’s why my perspective is interesting because I love the Palestinian people. I love the Jewish people. I love the Muslim people. I love the Christian people. I love that place.
“I desire to see Jesus restore it all. I know ultimately He will when He returns, but I believe He’s preparing His bride to receive Him in Israel as well as everywhere around the world.” Read the rest about Palestinian pastor thinks peace in Middle East possible through Jesus.
Michelle Aguilar was 18 when her mom told her she was leaving her dad. She was devastated. Wasn’t her life with Christian parents supposed to be perfect?
Michelle cut off communication with her mom and her insecurities grew. To internalize the rejection and depression, she turned to eating sweets to boost her spirits.
“I didn’t know what to do,” she says on an I am Second video. “I didn’t know how to deal with my pain or the confusion that I was going through. I think when you’re at a place where you’re kind of out of control with a lot of things, it’s an easy step to turn to food.”
She gained weight steadily, always hiding behind a million dollar smile. She reached 242 pounds.
As a Christian, “I knew I couldn’t turn to drugs or alcohol,” Michelle says. “Food was acceptable and it gave me a sense of control. (But) it becomes a guilt thing. You realize that you’re eating, and you’re feeling bad while you’re eating, and it’s just making it worse.”
Mom remarried and took Michelle’s two siblings. Michelle was left alone with dad.
Then a co-worker told her about The Biggest Loser reality TV show, in which overweight contestants worked out to see who loses the most weight, and the “biggest loser” wins $250.000. Michelle auditioned and was rejected the first time, but producers called to include her in the new season.
It had been six years since she talked to her mom. Dad suggested she participate in the program with her mother, who had also gained substantial pounds. Perhaps their participation might break down the walls between them. In this edition of Biggest Loser it was teams, parent-child or husband-wife.
“I really felt like God was saying, I’m going to give you an opportunity to start over and change from the inside out, and this could be the option if you’re willing to do it.”
But there were mixed emotions. Re-connecting with mom appealed to her, but Michelle viewed her as “the source of my pain, the source of my weight gain.”
She charged into a rigorous physical regimen like a would-be winner. But then she chipped her tooth. Her smile had always been her shield. It projected an image of self-confidence even when she was crying on the inside. It was her only defense against shame, and now it was gone.
“I felt like somebody had stripped away that armor, and said, “No, look at you. You’re smile is gone now. What are you going to do?’” she says. Finish reading how to overcome overeating.
In the quest for victory in competitive cycling, Ben King submitted himself to grueling training sessions that very nearly made he drop off the edge of healthy choices and even sanity.
“Cycling is one of the most demanding sports in the world. You don’t get to determine the pace; the pace is set. It’s like getting pulled along on a choke collar,” Ben says on White Chair films.
“And then you have the climbs and you get dropped. It’s a very explosive, intense knock out punch. The training, over-reaching, over-compensating, ups and downs burn 6,000 calories. You come back and have to have self-control. The things that you are trying to control end up controlling you. That really starts to wear you down and break you.”
In his first competition in Europe at age 16, he was staggered by daunting competition.
“We just got hammered. We got thrashed,” he says. “I’ve never suffered like that just to finish races.”
Ben decided he needed to buckle down and get serious about training. He read about pro-training and diet. He looked at he pros.
“They just looked like skeletons,” he remembers. “I started to believe that the lighter I got, the faster I would get.”
Trying to kick it in high gear, Ben would ride in the morning, lift weights in the middle of the day, go to track practice, go home and cram in his homework — along with swim practice.
“I would just die in my bed every night.”
Then he started purging. One night on his way back from swim practice, he decided he had eaten too much, and thinking this would weigh him down on the road race, he pulled over on the side of the road, opened the door and induced vomiting.
“In this twisted way, it gave me this sense of control,” he says. “It became a habitual thing. I began to wear down emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
Then blood showed up in the toilet.
“I was totally beating my body into submission. The thing I was trying to control was beginning to control me.”
At 17, Ben was ravaging his body in an abusive self-competition — all in the search of getting faster and faster.
He was training three to four times a day and was purging every time he felt he had eaten too much.
He arrived home one night and just clumped up the stairs and said goodnight to his mother but she called him back down to wash some dishes.
He was tired and temperamental and went into the kitchen and started to wash the dishes roughly.
Ben broke one of his mom’s favorite bowls and her temper flared.
He began seeing red and ran out the door, into the woods and kept on running. In the dark woods, he remembers staring at the very weird and odd movements of the branches.
“I just felt like I was surrounded by this evil presence,” Ben says. “It may just have been the evil I had allowed into my life.” Read the rest of Ben King Christian cyclist.
Royce Lovett went to the Christian youth conference only to “score a girl’s number.”
But the sudden appearance of a stye on his eyelid put a damper on impressing girls. So he prayed.
“I remember saying God, I know I’ve heard stories of you doing things for tons of people, but I need you to do something for me. If you can remove this thing from my face, I’ll know you’re real,” the Tallahassee native said.
“So I prayed but I kinda forgot about it after I did. A couple minutes later a friend and I went to the bathroom, and the stye was gone. I was like, yo, God did something for me. It meant so much.
Royce, now 29, rededicated his life to God at that Acquire the Fire conference. He had grown up going to church. His mother and father were ministers. But he didn’t really get to know God until that conference.
Suddenly God was real — and immediately Royce understood that he had a purpose: music.
For 11 years, he recorded five indie projects and performed concerts all over the globe while his family made ends meet with government aid. Finally, in 2014, Royce signed with the legendary label Motown Gospel.
It’s no mistake. Much of his music has the feel that it belongs to a different era, that of the heyday of Detroit with the start of so many African American music stars. But some of his music has rock influences (“Runnin”). His sweet ballad “Fly” is totally out of the loop.
Royce started in hip hop, but Christian rap pioneer Soup the Chemist encouraged him to give up predictability and blaze his own trail with his prodigious talent on the acoustic guitar. Royce also plays the bass, the drums and the keyboard.
While he was playing music at a park, a random guy came up and starting jamming with him. The guy told him his music was like “cerebral soul,” because it had the feeling of soul but made you think. The genre tag stuck.
If his genre places him logically with Motown, his message places him directly in the human heart. He’s never one to downplay his faith or love for Christ. And he’s willing to be brutally honest about the struggles of temptation. Read the rest about Royce Lovett.
When she suffered extreme fatigue for five years, it was a curse that elicited a forlorn “Why, God?” But when God turned her hormone deficiency into a profitable bakery of gluten-free cakes, it was a case for Romans 8:28: All things work together for good to them that love God.
Laurel Galucci had just married her dream man and was working her dream job of teaching. Then a mysterious fatigue crept upon her, progressively sapping her strength until she had to quit her job. Her dream life became a nightmare and at first there were no answers.
At long last in 2012, her doctor found the problem: She had Hashimoto’s disease, which attacked her thyroid, resulting in reduced hormone production and subsequent exhaustion. She couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs.
If that weren’t bad enough, she suffered from acute constipation. Already very slender, she lost another 40 pounds. She couldn’t get pregnant and went without a period for four years.
The standard treatment in the medical field of synthetic hormones didn’t restore her energy. “I had severe energy depletion” and was living in misery, she says.
Two years later, a friend suggested a change of diet. She cut grains, legumes, refined sugar and diary.
“After years of feeling exhausted and sick,” Laurel told Women’s Health, “I was willing to try just about anything to get my energy back and feel better about myself.”
More vegetables and protein was fine but giving up baking was out of the question. Laurel was the second of seven children and grew up baking constantly for her brothers and sisters. The ban on grains was a sticking point.
She had to find a substitute. Gluten-free baked goods on the market at the time tasted like cardboard. So she experimented and whipped up a surprisingly good chocolate cake using almond flour, coconut oil, 100% maple syrup, Himalayan pink salt and organic eggs.
Upon sampling the delicacy, her close friend (and now business partner) Claire Thomas remarked: “Gluten-free cakes aren’t supposed to taste this good. We have to do something with this. We need to share this with other people.”
Claire was already an entity in the foodie world. She had hosted a show on ABC called “Food for Thought” and in 2011 she was tapped by McDonald’s to direct the filming of a commercial. Claire suggested a partnership with Laurel.
In 2015, they founded the first grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free baked goods called Sweet Laurel and it shipped cakes nationally. Their products were offered in select grocery stores (mostly in L.A. and New York City), and she listed recipes on her blog and in cookbooks. They called that first cake “the chocolate cake that changed everything.”
In September of this year, they are opening their first storefront bakery in Pacific Palisades, a well-heeled neighborhood in Los Angeles. Laurel is not talking specific dollar amounts but says, “We’ve been very successful this year. We are hoping to grow out of Southern California. We’re getting up there. We’re expecting it to be worth lots of money.” Read the rest of Sweet Laurel Gluten-Free Baked Goods.
At exactly the moment David Fish was passing through a spiritual crisis in the Air Force in England, his neighbor’s mother — the Christian lady he looked up to — passed by his house walking the dog and remembered to pray for him.
As result, halfway around the world Jesus showed up and reassured David he could be forgiven of sin.
Never brush off the sudden urge to pray.
The incident was one of three supernatural apparitions that came to David, helping to deliver him from alcohol and the kingdom of darkness, moving him into the light of Jesus.
As a 15-year-old, David started drinking and driving the tractor on his farm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father was an abusive alcoholic and wound up divorced, which left David reeling.
“I wondered if this was what life was all about,” he says.
David wanted to be like dad but hay fever kept him from farm work such as baling hay, so he decided he would prove his manhood by joining the Air Force, just like dad.
“I wanted to show that I could do what he could do,” David says. “I always wanted to prove to him that I could do a lot of things. I guess a lot of kids want to show their parents they can stand on their own two feet.”
In the Air Force, he did well training as a mechanic for the tank-toting C-130 Hercules aircraft. But because of a mounting problem with alcohol, he was “causing myself my own troubles,” he says.
One day, he got drunk before his shift and was faced with the quandary of missing it (going AWOL) or showing up inebriated. He risked going to the job and his superiors confronted him.
“That was the day from hell,” David says. “You’re head is pounding. You’re in trouble. They know it. You know it. Everybody else knows it. All the people milling around the office all know that you royally screwed up. You’re just sitting there out in the open. Life was not good that day.”
Instead of a court-martial, the Air Force sent David to rehab in Riverside, California, to salvage his life and career. He thought if he behaved himself and went through the program, maybe they’d give him another chance.
The program was Alcoholics Anonymous. “That was supposed to be the way to keep dry and sane and all that other stuff,” he says.
The program taught that chemical dependency disappeared at six weeks. But “that’s baloney,” he says. “The spiritual dependency does not stop at six weeks.”
He fell back into beer after three months, though he tried to maintain better control and drink less.
“It was through the Riverside program that I realized how messed up my life was because when I began to discuss things about family, I left my sister out,” he says. “I hated my sister for the things that she did and the things that we did growing up — the different fights we had.”
That’s when a fellow airman started witnessing to him.
“It was the most fascinating thing I ever heard,” he remembers. “I was glued to listening to what he had to say. A few days later, I was still thinking about the impact that he made.”
David didn’t accept Jesus that day.
He was then stationed in England in preparation for the bombing of Muammar Gaddafi in 1986. He kept drinking the “thick rich frothy beer there. I was getting wasted all the time, and drinking was picking up speed,” he says.
After binging for three weeks, David surmised his grim predicament: “My life is worth nothing. My parents got this divorce. No one loves me; no one cares. So why should I? In that moment, I felt like I put my life on the auction block. I didn’t care if God had me or if the devil had me. I was willing to give myself over to whoever would have me.”
David began asking questions of a Christian fellow airman, who handed over a book, “The Scientific Approach to Christianity,” about an unbeliever healed of terminal cancer when his believing wife prayed for him. Read the rest of power of prayer.
“You killed me.”
As a police officer, Chad Robichaux once had to grapple with and overpower a man barricaded in his home in a domestic dispute. When the man struggled for Robichaux’s gun, the officer fired at him six times as the man’s children and wife screamed hysterically.
It wasn’t the only time Robichaux was traumatized in his use of deadly force. The MMA champion also killed as a Special Operations Force Recon Marine during eight tours of duty in Afghanistan.
The killing left his mind and heart a wreck, his marriage a shambles, and his soul a wasteland. If it weren’t for the intervention of a Christian man who invested in him and nurtured him back to psychological health, Robichaux might have ended his life like so many of the PTSD victims he tries to help through his Mighty Oaks Wounded Warrior Foundation.
Robichaux recounts the horrors of waging war on evil both in America and abroad in an I am Second video.
When he arrived on the scene of the domestic dispute, there were 30 people standing around outside the house.
The wife was screaming, and the man had barricaded himself in the back bedroom with his gun. Robichaux and his partner entered the house and began searching from room to room. They found the man and demanded he drop his gun. He refused to comply, so Chad moved to disarm him with force.
“I step towards him and I grab the barrel of his rifle and I pushed it away from me and I kicked him in the groin,” he remembers. “When I kicked him the second time he grabbed my hand. I realized at that point that I had to save myself and my partner. I shot six times.”
His partner hit him with another five bullets, and the suspect crumpled to his knees.
He looked at Chad: “You killed me.”
Of course, the violence was justified and necessary, but still Robichaux couldn’t just forget the images of blood all over him. He couldn’t shake the fact that he had ended a life at close range. He couldn’t forget the screams of the family.
“I just wanted someone to tell me that it was okay because I had just killed this guy in front of his family and it was something I thought I would have a hard time with but I did.”
His wife was no help. She just thought it was all part of a day’s work. He really needed someone to affirm him, but instead he felt rejection.
Shortly after that incident, he returned to active duty as a marine following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He was added to the Joint Special Operations Command. He deployed to Afghanistan with much excitement.
“Wow I can’t believe all this training to do this, you know, be a force recon marine to do these things and I’m here it’s real like right outside somewhere in the dark is the bad guy.”
He knew the terrorists were evil, but still he wasn’t prepared to see the full horror of mayhem done to other human beings.
“You can’t make sense of it,” he says. “You can’t process it”
In the process of fighting evil, evil entered his own heart. He became a hateful killing machine.
“I was out of control and I didn’t feel bad about it”
He built a wall between himself and his family but he didn’t understand why. “Maybe to protect them from me” Read the rest of Chad Robichaux Christian.
Harold Warner was driving back from a failed pastoral assignment when he hit a new patch of asphalt sprinkled with fresh rain, and his orange Dodge Colt spun out of control, went off the side of road and rolled down an embankment.
The car roof caved in, paralyzing him. Within nine months, the 23-year-old ex-hippie shifted into a new, dynamic pastoral assignment, this time in a wheelchair.
“Everything in my life was disrupted permanently. My world was turned upside down,” says Warner. “But my relationship with God didn’t change one bit. His grace, His presence never wavered. I had confidence that God was in control in my life.”
Today, Pastor Warner’s church, which he charged into as an idealistic young man, has grown to over 1,000. The Door Church in Tucson moved from a humble stucco and adobe building to a massive facility.
Affiliated with Christian Fellowship Ministries as a church planter, Warner and his leadership team have planted 750 churches worldwide.
How did he avoid the trap of blaming God for the inexplicable tragedy?
“A lot of things happen in life that you don’t have control over,” Warner says, as he considers the destiny he might have missed. “I kept going forward with a combination of faith, naiveté and confidence.”
When he was a young man, Warner liked hockey so much he went to the University of Connecticut specifically to play for the team. But, like so many other young people of the 1960s, alcohol and drugs beckoned, and he dropped out of school, grew his hair long, wore torn jeans and hitchhiked to Woodstock.
Being a hippie didn’t live up to “the propaganda of love,” he says. “The one thing that prevailed was the aimlessness.” Read the rest of Harold Warner The Door Church Tucson.