My sister Mary died a gruesome death from Lupus at the tender age of 15, in 1973. She was born in 1958.
Almost fifty years later, the pain of her loss still brings tears to my eyes and a sob to my soul. I was 13 when she passed away and lost my closest friend. It was, and remains, a horrible memory of devastation and loss.
Most of us have lost loved ones, and if you live long enough, all of us will lose someone we love; their parting will bring such anguish into our lives that, at times, will be unbearable.
Mary’s story is a tragic one. The last nine months or so of her young life were unspeakably brutal as this deadly disease ravaged her body; words cannot adequately describe her suffering. Almost fifty years later it is still impossible for me to comprehend it, the unfairness of it all, the devastating loss of losing my closest and best friend; a scar I bear to this day.
But faith brings hope of reconciliation with those loved ones who have already departed and left this world and the often brutality of life. I wonder if perhaps Mary was given the better lot; she was spared so much of the horrors that living on Earth often brings to those who are destined to bear its agonies and cruelties. Certainly she bore her own unique hell as this cruel disease ravaged her young body, but who can say if what she may have faced later in life seemed—in comparison—even more agonizing against her unbelievable sufferings from Lupus?
One of the many reasons I must reject atheism is that it offers no hope of eventual reconciliation with our departed loved ones. This fact alone makes atheism untenable to me and most people who long and yearn to be reunited with those who have passed before us.
Atheism is a cruel belief system that robs all people of the hope that the afterlife will bring meaning and closure to the untimely death of those whom we have lost. It makes death, unbelievable as this might seem, worse and crueler than it already is.
Are you familiar with the song “I can only imagine”? And if you have listened to the song, do you know the story behind it? Stephanie Gray, a pro-life advocate who I have worked with, writes this on her blog after she lost her first child to miscarriage:
“It tells the true story of musician Bart Millard who wrote MercyMe’s song, I Can Only Imagine. Bart had been brutally abused by his father growing up, but before his father’s death his dad became a Christian and reconciled with his son. After his dad’s death, Bart composed, ‘Surrounded by Your glory, What will my heart feel? Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You be still? Will I stand in your presence, Or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine.'”
I urge you to watch the Youtube video above because it shows, throughout it, various people looking through empty picture frames and also holding up pictures of their departed loved ones. Part of the message is that, for believers in Christ, we have the blessed hope of one day being reconciled with our departed loved ones.
I’ve talked to many atheists throughout my life, especially on college and university campuses where I seek to minister to them. Being young, many have not yet had to face the sting and agony of death; therefore, they carry with them an arrogant, know-it-all attitude that evolution is true and a belief in the afterlife is nonsense.
Some of them, when I ask, “What happens to you when you die?” will reply with a dismissive, “Worm food. We become worm food.” They deceive themselves they are being so clever when they spout such shallow foolishness.
Being pampered Americans who have been spared the brutalities of life in general, and death in particular, they parrot quaint phrases they picked up from late night philosophical dorm parties or from listening to atheist professors who mock and denigrate the Christian faith and hope in a resurrection.
I long to see Mary again and believe with all my soul that she is waiting up in heaven for our eventual reunion. Could I be wrong in this belief? Yes, I certainly can, because like the atheist who believes we all become worm food when we die, I’ve never been to heaven nor met anyone who has; I simply have faith in the words of Jesus:
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Today on my walk, an old song popped into my mind, out of the blue, titled, “Something Which is Known.” It came out in 1980 and was sung by a group of monks—the Monks of Weston Priory— who live and continue to do so in a monastery in the state of Vermont. Here it is:
I had a good friend of mine, Jim Felix, and he is the one who introduced me to the music of these monks. Jim and I met on a church choir tour that both of us went on sometime in 1980 or so when we both attended Catalina United Methodist Church here in Tucson, AZ. We became close friends.
At this time, I was earnestly pursuing Jesus, having become a Christian about four years before, when I was sixteen. Music was a huge part of my life, like for most young people, and Christian music was something I was relatively new to.
Jim, an accomplished guitar player, introduced me to various Christian artists, and the Monks of Weston Priory, though much different from the majority of Christian artists I was listening to at the time (and what some may consider to be “old-fashioned” or “old people music”) resonated in my soul. This particular song is one, forty years later, that still moves me.
For years, off and on, I would remember this song as it randomly popped into my mind—like it did this evening. I would occasionally check Youtube to see if it might have been uploaded by someone, but the only recording of it was of poor quality; it was only tonight that this high quality recording appeared and I was thrilled to find it. I listened to it tonight at least four or five times in a row as it brought back deep and powerful feelings, memories and emotions, like suddenly meeting an old, beloved friend I have not seen in decades.
The music of the Monks of Weston Priory affected Jim and I so deeply that we went to visit them in Vermont. Jim’s parents and family lived in New Hampshire at the time, and around 1980, we drove from Tucson to visit his family and also these monks.
Here is a picture of Jim and I at the Monastery:
Here are the lyrics:
Something Which Is Known
Refrain: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia
Something which is known to have been from the beginning: this we have heard and seen with our own eyes; something we have touched and have carefully watched: the Word who is life, this we share with you. Refrain
This is the life of our God, so gracious, Word become flesh: there is no greater wonder. All that we have witnessed became new vision: this our hope for you, alive in God’s own spirit. Refrain
He it is in whom we have found the light of truth, source of our hope, abiding gift of God’s love. Through that love we pass and are born in life unending: Jesus, our Lord, the fullness of our joy. Refrain
To me, this song is profoundly beautiful and meaningful. It is a hymn of praise to the Lord Jesus, and the rich voices of the monks singing these words and the refrain of “Alleluia” throughout the score is deeply soul moving.
We all know the powerful place that music has on our lives, and how certain kinds of music can touch the deepest parts of our souls and beings. The monks had a simple yet richly spiritual aspect to their music which resonated with my spirit…then and now. And though I am not Roman Catholic like the monks and carry deep theological suspicions concerning some of their dogmas, I nonetheless appreciate and admire their devotion to Jesus and to a life separated from the world and dedicated to serving Him.
Decades have passed since my visit to the monastery; I was a young man in my early twenties then, utterly focused on my life of faith in God and Christ. I devoured the Bible and spent years and years—decades—in reading and studying it and other Christian books. Reading the Bible on a daily basis continues to this day, over forty years later.
I don’t consider myself a mature Christian, though I have honestly, with genuine sincerity, strive to lead a godly life throughout my adulthood. Have I made mistakes in my Christian walk? I certainly have, along with times of intense sufferings, defeats and doubts.
But I have also been blessed to have passed through times of what I felt were genuine closeness and love for the Lord, being privileged to have been able to serve Him in some unusual ways, of which I am eternally grateful and thankful for.
Life in America is brutal as far as faith is concerned, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we now find ourselves in the unfathomable place of being a post-Christian nation, something that almost seemed to spring up out of nowhere. The transformation from a country that once believed strongly in God, Jesus, and the Scriptures has now turned an almost 180 degrees in the opposite direction…to the dismay and horror of most sincere Christians. I don’t believe America will ever return from the once lofty place we were blessed and privileged to hold.
My faith has, and continues to be, tested. But one thing remains sure and certain: my belief in God, that He is good, is the Creator of the Universe, and the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. If God is removed from the equation of my life, that life has ultimately no intrinsic meaning or purpose and becomes marked with moral failures, unhappiness, bitterness, confusion, defeats, and pessimism.
When we pursue the Lord and strive to be like Him, in our character, our speech, our behavior, we become better people: kinder, more compassionate, less angry and bitter at others and our unfortunate life circumstances, etc. But when we don’t follow the Lord and take time to look deep inside ourselves and strive to correct and amend our moral failings and character defects (like outbursts of anger, impure thoughts, lusts, love of money, etc.), we become worse, stuck in a powerful vortex of negativity and moral defeat, a slave to our corrupt natures.
I’ve lived both lives: a life untethered from the love and control of having the Lord dominant in my life, and a life tethered to the Lord, following and pursuing Him, striving to obey His commandments and precepts as delineated in the Bible. I will be the first to confess, from personal experience, that “life in Christ” is infinitely better than a life lived outside of Christ. In fact, there is no comparison between the two.
This verse from John 10:10, spoken by Jesus, is profound, with my soul responding with an enthusiastic “Amen!”:
“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” (GNT)
Do you hate one of your parents that at one time you loved? Has your family been broken apart by divorce?
I am writing this post for those children from divorced families who hate one of their parents. If at one time you loved that now hated parent—when you were all once a family—but now, after the divorce or separation, you now hate that parent, this is written in the hope that I may help you understand why.
This is part 1 of a series on divorce, focusing on the devastating impact that certain high conflict divorces have upon innocent children. Additional articles can be found under the “Divorce and PAS” tab above.
First, most people know that divorce is one of the most devastating events a family can pass through. There is no such thing as a “good divorce” when there are children involved, especially young children. If you had one of your limbs amputated because of an injury or disease, you would never say, “You know, having my leg amputated was not such a bad thing. I won’t miss it in the least.” The same goes for a family with children: divorce causes amputations of metaphorical limbs that will always have devastating consequences.
Second, certain kind of divorces are worse than others. Though divorce is always a horrific event to pass through (and again, I’m referring to divorce with children involved), if the parents splitting apart understand the devastation this will bring to their children and are committed to doing whatever is necessary to soften the blow for them, these innocents will fare better than those parents who openly hate each other and make the divorce process more like open warfare between hostile belligerents.
“High conflict divorces” are the most damaging ones for children. These share common characteristics: regular battles in divorce court where the parents fight over money, child support, custody, choice of schools, what kind of faith the children will be raised in, what state the parents will live in, etc. If a family law judge has become the arbiter of most of your pre and post divorce family issues, know for certain you are in a “high conflict divorce” which wrecks unbelievable emotional, physical and psychological damage to your children which will affect them for the rest of their lives.
A high conflict divorce is a perfect breeding ground for the cultivation of hatred and bitterness for innocent, impressionable children who, for the most part, love both their mom and dad and want more than anything in the world for them to stay together and to have their family remain intact and healthy. And for those parents who use the court system to harm their spouse and take revenge on them, the children will be harmed right along with them. “Revenge,” as the old saying goes, “is a dish best served cold.”
If you are a child from such a divorce, and you find yourself hating the very parent you once loved, I urge you, for the sake of your own health and happiness, to realize that something terribly wrong has occurred in your heart and that you need to discover the tools necessary to bring meaning and healing to this destructive set of unhealthy and dangerous emotions.
Let me emphatically point out that you are not to be blamed for these destructive emotions. In fact, you have been manipulated—brainwashed—by one of your parents to have these feelings toward the very parent you once loved and cherished. Understanding this phenomena is your first step toward unwrapping the troubling maze that has twisted your innocent mind into harboring these dangerous and unhealthy feelings toward a once loved parent.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) or simply, Parental Alienation, is the name for this subtle form of unethical and abusive form of brainwashing that is often birthed out of high conflict divorces. Here is a helpful, introductory article to get you started, titled, “Parental Alienation and its Repair,” by Mollie S. Castelloe, PhD.
My main interest in this lawsuit stems from serious allegations made against one of the abortion doctors referred in the “Verified Complaint” as “Dr. X.” Another doctor described in the complaint, referred to as “Dr. Y,” was also alleged to have committed serious infractions. (The allegations against Dr. X are found beginning on page 4 of the Verified Complaint, paragraphs 24 through 33.)
Neither of these abortionists are identified by their legal names. In fact, none of the articles written by various news outlets that I read referred to either of these individuals by their names, casting a pall of secrecy over these two abortionists and granting them a buffer of protection from public scrutiny and possible censure by keeping their true identities from the public eye.
My interest in this case is personal; for the last five years, I have stood on the sidewalks outside of Tucson’s only abortion clinic, Tucson Women’s Center (TWC), with other pro-life Christians in our continual attempts to offer help to abortion minded women seeking to terminate their pregnancies. The abortionist who ran this particular clinic is William H. Richardson.
In July of 2018, Richardson closed TWC and merged with Planned Parenthood (PP), moving his operations to the PP facility located literally across the street in the same medical plaza, located at 2255 N. Wyatt Dr.
For the past several months, I was hearing about the story of Mayra Rodriquez and what was occurring with her problems with PP in Phoenix. Like so many other stories concerning PP and their abuses, Mayra’s story added to the constant drumbeat of shocking news coming out of PP and did not particularly stand out and arrest my attention…until a week or so ago.
I received an email from a fellow Christian who regularly ministers on the same sidewalks outside of Tucson’s PP as I do. During our subsequent discussions, this sidewalk counselor informed me that “Dr. X” was positively identified as Richardson.
How was this identification confirmed? Mayra Rodriquez reached out to Abby Johnson, another former PP clinic director who became a whistleblower. Johnson’s story generated coast to coast attention to the problems with the abortion giant and she became a national spokeswoman for the pro-life movement. The 2019 movie “Unplanned” chronicles Johnson’s story.
Rodriguez contacted Johnson due, in part, because of Johnson’s organization, “And Then There Were None,” which states on its website: “And Then There Were None (ATTWN) is a registered nonprofit organization that exists to help abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry…”
A video collaboration between Rodriquez and ATTWN resulted in at least two videos (here and here) which told Rodriquez’s story of why she was fired from PP. It was in the second video where she identifies “Dr. X” as Richardson:
The above video is almost 40 minutes long (note: the audio portion when Myra speaks is poor—please listen with quality headphones for the best listening experience). To save time, I will include the relevant timestamps below for those who might not have the time to listen to the full video:
Beginning at timestamp 4:40 and continuing through 5:46, a portion from the paperwork generated because of the lawsuit lays the foundation for the claims against Richardson as being the doctor who was receiving the greatest amount of “incidents,” though he was not the abortionist responsible for performing the greatest amount of abortions.
Beginning at timestamp 30:42, Mayra lays further foundation for the allegation that Richardson, being number two in the amount of abortions performed, was nonetheless responsible for nearly 50% of all statewide complications.
The testimony from Mayra, beginning at 30:42 and continuing through 33:43, contains among the most serious allegations leveled against Richardson. For example, at timestamp 32:01 through 32:18, the narrator comments that Mayra was speaking out against Richardson “…because the whole premise of you being fired as a whistleblower is the fact that you spoke up against Dr. Richardson…right? Like you said, this is not ok, all of the complications, all of the complaints…”
What is clear is that Dr. X is referring to William Richardson. Whenever the reader observes the words “Dr. X” in the Verified Complaint, they can substitute “Dr. William Richardson” and be accurate in that replacement.
I wish to point out that, at this point in my investigation on this evolving story, I am unaware that Richardson has been indicted or officially charged for any of the crimes alleged against him in the Verified Complaint. Until such allegations transform into a criminal investigation where he is found guilty after a jury trial, or if he would admit guilt as part of an inevitable plea agreement if charges are filed against him, he must be seen as “innocent until proven guilty.”
This information is troubling on multiple levels. First, why was Richardson not immediately fired from his position by PP when these allegations were made public? Why was he not fired long before these public revelations became known if indeed, as Rodriquez claims, such allegations had been well known to PP for years? (See paragraph 29.) Since PP constantly trumpets their concern for the health and wellbeing of their female patients, why would they allow this possibly rogue physician to continue to harm vulnerable women?
Second, Richardson primarily practices his grisly abortion trade in Tucson, AZ. Upon information and belief, he travels to Phoenix and Flagstaff performing abortions due to a shortage of abortionists available at these clinics. His main geographical area for performing abortions is at the PP in Tucson, located in a private medical plaza known as “Tucson Medical Center.” This sprawling medical complex is located due south of the hospital that shares the same name: Tucson Medical Center (TMC), a long established hospital in Tucson that carries an excellent reputation as being one of the best hospitals in Arizona.
Tucson Medical Center, an Arizona non-profit, owns the specific parcel of real property where the PP building is situated and out of which Richardson performs abortions. This PP building is surrounded by many other medical buildings staffed and run by medical professionals: urologists, dentists, optometrists, psychiatrists, wound doctors, etc.
Clearly, a hospital with an excellent reputation such as what TMC currently enjoys would not allow a physician like Richardson to practice amongst other doctors not burdened by such serious allegations. But Richardson’s presence in that community has always been an enigma to me. Why would a hospital like TMC allow an abortion doctor to practice there in the first place?
Are these serious allegations indeed fact? Is Richardson guilty of the acts and omissions Mayra Rodriguez claims in her lawsuit? Evidently, the jury hearing, examining, and weighing the evidence presented to them appears to believe that he is guilty as charged and awarded her an astonishing $3 million dollar judgment as part of their belief in his guilt, as well as the guilt of PP in wrongfully terminating her.
If Richardson is guilty of these allegations, one cannot dance around the conclusion: he is a criminal, rogue abortionist who should have his medical license immediately revoked and suffer the consequences of such crimes.
And if Planned Parenthood is guilty of knowing about these crimes for years as Rodriguez alleges they have, and if Richardson’s actions are proven to be criminal in nature, PP’s cover-up is criminal as well and they should also be held responsible for such an unconscionable coverup that allowed this abortionist to continue harming women.
In the Verified Complaint listed above, paragraph 48, page 8 speaks of Richardson’s “…conduct and the resulting substantial risk to the health, safety and welfare of PPA patients and future patients…” But these risks to patients were never addressed or properly investigated due to a close personal relationship Ms. Ibarra, Center Manager for PPA, maintained with Richardson: it “was impossible, as a practical matter, to objectively raise the concerns with Ms. Ibarra as to Dr. X and the substantial risk he presented to patient safety, health, and welfare because of their longstanding relationship” (paragraph 49, page 9, lines 9-11).
The serious allegations against Richardson are again mentioned on page 12, paragraph 73.
Additional video from Mayra Rodriguez detailing further malpractice of Richardson
Beginning at timestamp 5:09 and continuing through 9:21 in the above video, Mayra goes into detail concerning one of the PP doctors with whom she had “a few discrepancies.” (5:07) This unnamed doctor is William Richardson.
Around the beginning of August or September of 2017, Richardson performed a second trimester abortion on a woman who was thirteen weeks pregnant (5:41). One of the staff members in the operating room with both Richardson and the patient was tasked with the grisly procedure of counting the body parts of the dismembered fetus in order to insure all the detached pieces of the baby were completely removed from the mother’s womb.
At this stage in the unborn babies development, bones and cartilage are developing, requiring the abortionist to perform what is known as a “D&C” (Dilation and Curettage) abortion. This is a grisly procedure which includes the use of a sharp, looped shaped instrument—a curettage—used to shear and scrape the body parts from off the fetus and away from the uterine wall. Since the baby is dismembered, his or her’s small body parts (euphemistically referred to by Mayra as POC’s [Products of Conception]) must be counted and “itemized” to insure no pieces are left behind. Failure to do so would mean human remains are left in the patient, which, as they decompose, can result in the woman developing dangerous and potentially life-threatening infections.
This itemizing of the baby’s body parts alerted the staff worker that Richardson failed to complete the abortion; he left behind pieces of this dismembered fetus inside the patient (6:01 through 6:27), requiring him to return to the patient and complete the operation (6:33 through 6:42).
This incident can also be found on page 6 of the aforementioned “Verified Complaint,” paragraph 31.
Mayra was evidently outraged at this (7:12) and suggested that this incident be brought up to the “Federation” (the nationwide “Planned Parenthood Federation of America” as opposed to the local, state level “Planned Parenthood of Arizona.”) She was told to “not worry about it” (7:31) and the end result was that nothing was done (7:37).
Richardson’s and PP’s prior problems
On June 27th in 2002, an “Amended Complaint” was filed against Richardson and PP in the Superior Court of Maricopa County in Phoenix alleging negligence, assault, and battery of a then 14-year-old female minor (see paragraph 15, page 4), identified in the lawsuit as “Jane Doe.”
The allegations directed toward Richardson and PP are both serious and shocking. In brief, this case revolves around a 23-year-old man, Shawn M. Stevens (see paragraph 14), who was the son of foster parents “retained and hired” by the State of Arizona as “foster parents for the minor child, Jane Doe” (see paragraph 5).
While in the custody and control of these foster parents, their son, Shawn, molested and impregnated Jane Doe. He took her to PP on November 10, 1998 for an abortion (paragraph 14).
According to the allegations in the Complaint, PP knew Jane Doe was a minor on this date and failed to alert the authorities (paragraph’s 15-17) of this fact and also failed to inform the foster parents they performed an abortion on her. Richardson performed the abortion.
Paragraph 16 from the Amended Complaint reads:
“Because of Planned Parenthood’s failure to report the abortion of November 10, 1998, Jane Doe was subjected to continued child molestation and sexual exploitation up and until Jane Doe presented herself for a second abortion on May 6, 1999. Only after the second abortion did Planned Parenthood notify authorities on May 11, 1999. Shawn M. Stevens also brought Jane Doe to Planned Parenthood on May 6, 1999.”
Paragraph 17, on page 4, alleges “grossly negligent” behavior on the part of PP (line 20) for their “…failure to notify the proper authorities of the abortion of Jane Doe…,” causing “Jane Doe to be subject to repeated child molestation and sexual exploitation as the hands of an adult for an additional period of approximately six (6) months. Had Planned Parenthood properly reported the incident to authorities, the perpetrator of the child molestation and sexual exploitation would have been apprehended by authorities and Jane Doe would not have had to go through a second abortion procedure…”
The alleged crimes of Dr. Richardson concerning this minor child are found on page 11 of the Verified Complaint as Count IX, “Negligence—Dr. Richardson.” Like the allegations against PP, Richardson is accused of knowing the underage status of Jane Doe (paragraph 43) and failing to inform the foster parents that he was planning on performing, or had already performed, an abortion on this 14-year-old victim of sexual molestation and exploitation.
Paragraph 45, found on page 12, alleges additional shocking allegations of Richardson’s gross negligence: the victim suffered “physical pain, humiliation, emotional distress, permanent psychological damages, and potential physical damages.”
There is probably no better way to easily reach thousands of JW’s than going to one of their summer conventions with the expressed purpose of “Witnessing to the Witnesses.”
Signs and banners:
One of the best methods is holding up large, bold-lettered, short and easily read signs and banners with a pithy message that might say, “Read the Bible, not the Watchtower.” This method transformed the lives of author David A. Reed and his wife, as highlighted in two of my videos.
A necessary and vital tip on making signs or having them made for you by a local sign shop: Less is more. In other words, less words is far better than many words. The less words on a sign, the better you are able to capture the attention of your audience. Don’t make the amateur mistake of putting an entire paragraph on a sign; these are too hard to be easily and quickly read. You need short and powerful messages.
Call around for the best prices at your local sign shops. For one or two signs, red or black vinyl lettering on a white background is best. The sign material is made out of plastic, called “Corex.” A good sized sign is 3′ x 2′. Such a sign will probably run you anywhere between $20 and $30. If you know someone in your church who has a vinyl cutter and can make the signs for cost, that would be even better.
I had what proved to be one of the most effective ideas for outreach at these JW summer conventions: advertising a favorite ex-JW website. In my case, the first website I advertised was “towerwatch.com”. My evangelism partner, Mike, made me a small, handheld banner with “towerwatch.com” in bold, easily read letters on his home printer; when stretched out, it measured about four feet in length. When not in use or being transported, we rolled it up like a scroll, very easy to carry or put in my backpack. A picture is below:
During the lunch break, as thousands of JW’s would stream out the doors and eat their lunches outside, I slowly and continually walk around with this banner stretched between both of my hands, in plain view of the JW’s.
I developed what I hope is a humorous and light-hearted script as I walk around, saying something like this: “I want to wish all of you Jehovah’s Witnesses a happy birthday by giving you a gift, a gift of knowledge, found here on this banner I’m carrying which reads, “towerwatch.com”. It’s a great website that has all kinds of helpful information on Jehovah’s Witnesses that you won’t get at your weekly Kingdom Hall meetings.
“It’s simple to remember this website: towerwatch.com. It’s just like ‘watchtower’ but you split ‘watchtower’ in half and put the word ‘tower’ in front of ‘watch’ and you have the website, ‘towerwatch.com’.
“But like any gift, you have to ‘open’ the present before it can do you any good. So before you can enjoy this gift of knowledge, you have to log onto the internet and type in “towerwatch.com”.”
I walk all around the area where the JW’s are sitting or standing, endlessly repeating the same thing. Why do I do this? Because by the end of their lunch break, they will have heard “towerwatch.com” so many times that it will be burned into their memories and perhaps they will even dream about it at night while they are sleeping.
I repeat this website endlessly on purpose, knowing that the most effective advertising is that which is seen by people over and over again. The more times a person watches the same commercial on t.v. or hears the same ad on radio, the more apt he is to remember the product or service being advertised. I employ the same tried and proven philosophy at the conventions.
But the “proof is in the pudding” and the only true sign that this unorthodox method is effective is whether or not people are actually logging on to the towerwatch.com website. I’m happy to report that people do log onto this website.
How I know this is because I contacted the man who started and runs towerwatch.com; his name is Cal Lehman. I explained to Cal what I was doing, and had done, at the summer conventions in Tucson with the small “towerwatch.com” banner, asking him to check his web traffic on and around those days. Here is what he wrote:
July 5, 2011
Hi Roy, Thanks for the email and the story, I will respond to your email soon I promise. I have a lot on my plate right now 🙂 Thank you so much for displaying the TowerWatch.com sign at the convention sites. Yes there was a sharp increase …in visitors to the TowerWatch website starting around June 13 and lasting the remainder of the month. What I found very interesting was that there were very strong spikes on each of the last three Mondays in June! Thanks again for helping to get the word out.
To say the least, I was thrilled with this news! This meant this idea was effective in at least one way: traffic being driven to Cal’s website through the simple act of advertising it during the lunch hours at the summer conventions, with perhaps thousands of seeds being planted in the hearts of JW’s were some of them will surely bear fruit unto salvation.
This reminds me of that portion in David A. Reed’s book mentioned in my one of my video’s when David described how he and his wife Penni eventually accepted the Lord and left the org:
“Like a stranger on a mountaintop viewing a peaceful valley below, who, as he turns to leave, casually tosses a pebble into the void, and who continues on his way, unaware that the pebble dislodged two other pebbles, which unbalanced a small stone, which in turn set other stones in motion until a major avalanche rumbled down the mountainside, forever altering the valley scene he viewed—just such a stranger set in motion a series of events that eventually brought turmoil to Penni and me, and permanently changed our lives.”
“The initial pebble was a picket sign carried by one of five individuals walking in a small circle on the sidewalk outside the Providence, Rhode Island, Civic Center in July 1977…”
I can only hope that, in eternity, the Lord will reveal to me what wonderful, eternal miracles happened to some of these JW’s who, out of curiosity by seeing and hearing me walk around the convention they attended years ago, logged onto Cal’s website and eventually set off a chain of events that led to their salvation. Praise the Lord!
Here is the 1914 sign in action:
Here is the video I made years ago showing how a friend of mine made the banner that changed the life and eternity of David and Penni Wood:
Preaching at the conventions are another excellent way to get your message across to the teeming multitudes of JW’s that descend upon the summer conventions. Unfortunately, this biblical method has been so often abused by well-meaning yet misguided Christians that it has fallen into disfavor with much of our society, a tragedy of epic proportions.
Without going into too much detail, here are some helpful tips for effective preaching:
Use amplification to be effectively heard. These crowds are often counted in the thousands, requiring the need to speak loudly to have any hope of being heard in an often noisy, constantly moving crowd. Raising your voice to be heard can work, but you will be seen by many as “shouting” at them, an instant turn-off. Reasonably amplified speech without “blasting” the crowds with excessive decibel levels requires wisdom and experience.
Your messages should be short and to the point; remember, you are not behind the pulpit with all the benefits that entails. Though you may have a captive audience if the people are having their lunches and sitting around for 20 minutes or more, this is often not the case. Usually, the crowds are constantly moving, requiring that you pack one main thought into 30 seconds or less as they pass you by. Perhaps you only have time to share one particular scripture and a few words of commentary before the crowd passes you by and the next set of people come into your zone.
I like to have a short “loop” of a tightly packed message that I repeat over and over again as the crowds pass by. Since they are constantly moving, you need to reach each passing group of people with the same message because they don’t stick around long enough to hear a three point, 45 minute sermon. Know your audience and plan accordingly!
Remember 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “And the Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who in opposition, if perhaps God will grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, that they will come to their senses, having escaped the snare of the devil, being held captive by him to do his will.”
The old saying, “Honey catches more flies than vinegar” has application in open-air preaching. Remember, preachers must overcome severe stereotyping that automatically puts us at a disadvantage to our potential audience. Don’t feed into that bias by proving it correct by rude and obnoxious behavior.
Jehovah’s Witnesses will not accept tracts or any other non-JW literature from your hand, no matter how gently and respectfully you offer it to them. This is yet another example of their blatant hypocrisy, but this is not the place to delve into this aspect of this non-Christian cult. I point this fact out so you don’t waste your time in what will prove to be a fruitless attempt.
But saying this, I have had great success in “planting” tracts around the areas where I know the JW’s will eventually sit or stand when they break for lunch and gather in their large groups outside.
This is where an example of good planning is crucial to the success of your mission. Since I have been ministering to JW’s in the same area for over two decades in Tucson, I am familiar with their routines: when they break for lunch, how long these breaks are, where they will sit and stand, and most importantly, the strategic spots and time of actually planting the tracts.
Timing is critical in this idea, because not only do I know the JW’s schedule, but they know mine. After all, we have been dealing with each other for over twenty years, so even enemies can’t help but get to know one another during this long stretch of time.
If I plant the tracts too soon before the lunch break, they might send out their scouts to pick the literature up, defeating my hard work. What I have found works best is to work in a “planting team” and blanket the area within several minutes of the lunch break. This way, there is no time for the JW’s to pick up all the literature because it is too close to the chaos of the thousands of JW’s all leaving for lunch at the same time.
Planting tracts can be a mixed bag of success. Some weekends most of the tracts are picked up by the various JW’s who sit down in the spot where we’ve placed the tracts and/or CD’s. (A Christian donated CD’s of the movie, Witnesses of Jehovah, and I have placed this CD underneath the gospel tracts. Many have been taken!) Some weekends, few are picked up; one never knows. But again, we are planting seeds, and the most important aspect of seed planting is simply planting the seeds in the right place to be picked up.
I always place a small rock or rocks on top of the tracts/CD’s to keep them from blowing away in the wind. One year the police came by and gave me some nonsense that I was littering, a common tactic with police that are not schooled in first amendment law. Placing small rocks on top of your packet will not only prevent them from blowing away, but shows the police that your intention is not to litter.
At the end of the lunch break when all the JW’s return inside to their indoctrination sessions, I go back and pick up all the tracts that are left. We leave at the end of the lunch break and, though we could leave the tracts, I’m assuming most of them will not be picked up because the JW’s are only intent on getting to their cars and leaving the convention center. They are not sitting around for two hours or so like they are during the lunch break; leaving the tracts would not only be a waste of the literature but could become an issue of the police making a point of littering.
Best practice, I believe, is never, if at all possible, to allow any open door of criticism to be made against us during these conventions. This means we leave the place just as we found it, clean and tidy. It makes for a better witness.
These are just a few, tried and true methods for effectively reaching JW’s at the summer conventions. There are many other methods one can use limited only by one’s imagination. Some people have dressed up like JW’s and attended the conventions, sneaking literature into the bathrooms to leave for those who need to use the facilities. I’ve never tried this but I’m sure it is effective.
I always wear a chest-mounted GoPro when I am out on my evangelistic outreaches. If you don’t have one, keeping your cellphone in a front shirt pocket or in a small holder on your chest area with the camera facing toward the people, continually recording, is a wise idea. Why? Several reasons.
First and foremost is you now how a video recording, a trail of evidence, if something goes awry. Say you get into an altercation with a particularly violent, hot-headed JW (see video below). They accuse you of some “incitement” to violence and call the police. The problem is this if you do not have a camera recording the entire event: JW’s will often lie and say you did things you never did or claim you said things that you never said.
Many times I have gone by myself to these conventions. This is not my preference, but it happens. And what will the police decide if a false accusation is made against me and there are a handful of JW’s all lying that I did or said something that never happened? Who are they going to believe? Probably not you, especially if you are vastly outnumbered, which is why it is a must that you plan of videoing every second you are out in the “field of souls.”
Also, and this is more of a reason to continually video, is in case of violence happening (and it does happen), you need video evidence of what actually happened. Nothing more frustrating for a court of law to have to decide the merits of a case based on “he said/she said” testimony.
Whenever I see some JW beginning to show signs of violence or anger towards me, I point to my camera and alert them to the fact they are being recorded. While this is no guarantee this will stop their violent behavior, as my video shows, often the awareness of the fact they are being recorded is enough to cool their jets.
All this to say: develop a system of video recording every moment you are “witnessing to the Witnesses.” It is a rule for me that I have steadfastly followed for years and feel it is one of the best decisions I have made.
My new video on the 2019 summer conventions, titled, “Love Never Fails!”, is up. I want to further probe into this controversial subject and make additional points.
First, I define “shunning” in my video as a separate and totally different spiritual discipline, or punishment, as practiced in the New Testament; it is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 5.
But the shunning that JW’s do, though perhaps biblical in some aspects, take this drastic spiritual correction too far and use it against family members, friends, and neighbors that begin to disagree with doctrinal issues as codified by the Governing Body (GB). When this happens, JW’s use shunning in an unbiblical, cruel manner that is sinful and wicked.
For example, in matters of conscience, where a JW disagrees with the GB, this disagreement can, and is used, as a reason for that individual to be shunned. Take the non-biblical issue of life-saving blood transfusions as one example, which I consider to be a “matter of conscience.” If a JW parent decides to go against the “no blood” belief of the GB and allows their dying son or daughter to receive a blood transfusion that ends up saving his or her life, that parent will probably be shunned and even kicked out of the congregation if it is brought to the attention of the elders.
I’m not writing this post to go deep into debating the fine theological points of blood transfusions or whether or not such a thing is even discussed in the Bible (it is not); this is not the point of this article. What I’m saying is that issues not clearly spoken about in the Bible as sin—adultery, theft, fornication, lying, etc.—are “matters of conscience” and “shunning” someone because they happen to have a contrary opinion to these matters than what the GB does is wrong.
Many JW’s shun family members because those family members are no longer walking in “the truth.” And “the truth,” as defined by JW’s, are any and all teachings, including matters of conscience, that are defined by the GB as being biblical. This is when error and gross sin creep into JW’s thinking as it applies to shunning others.
Without going into nitpicking detail, here is where biblical shunning should be used against someone: if an individual who identifies as a follower of Christ and has committed themselves to being a disciple of Jesus begins to knowingly engage in and practices a sinful lifestyle (say, fornicating with his/her girlfriend), and after being warned three times to cease from that sinful behavior yet refuses to repent, that person should be shunned.
Note the person’s behavior must be a known sin that is being willfully, continually and knowingly engaged in with a defiant attitude and not a matter of conscience.
A matter of conscience would be, for example, your son or daughter wants to join the military, maybe in a non-combat role like a medic, mechanic or cook. Should he be shunned because of this choice? Of course not.
Propaganda is defined as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”
Wikipedia has enlightening information how the Nazi’s effectively used propaganda to brainwash the minds of the German people to embrace Nazism:
“The propaganda used by the German Nazi Party in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler’s leadership of Germany (1933–1945) was a crucial instrument for acquiring and maintaining power, and for the implementation of Nazi policies…”
The public school system is one of the main tools for leftists by which America’s youth is systematically being brainwashed to accept anti-American ideologies. This article is the latest example of how LGBTQ fascist tyranny is being force fed down the throats of the unsuspecting.
This is government sanctioned propaganda, American styled. Setting the course for the complete, total, and absolute brainwashing of the youth in America. Few in this country understand the very late hour we find ourselves at in this wicked, perverse country known as “America.”
I just watched a portion of this moving worship song performed by Hillsong:
Look at all the people gathered together in worship and praise to our heavenly, exalted King! It is awesome and inspiring.
But why are Christians being defeated left and right in the culture wars? Why, with our vastly superior numbers, are we losing ground at an astonishingly furious rate? Why are our enemies, infinitesimally small in comparison, soundly beating us at every turn?
As I watch this worship video and see the thousands upon thousands gathered in praise, I wonder, “Where are they when it comes to fighting the gross injustice of abortion? Why are few abortion clinics around the world where Christians are in the majority of the population have few—if any—Christians standing in front of them trying to save innocent lives?”
Or how about the relatively new unspeakable abomination of the Drag Queen Story Hour’s where homosexual drag performers are performing for children as young as two years old? Why are the LGBTQ activists who put on these perversions always outnumbering the Christians who are bold and loving enough to confront them? Why are so very few of our enemies able to ride roughshod over our liberties and mock our faith and now hold us captive to their satanic ideologies?
To me, the answer is obvious, but very few agree with what I consider to be the obvious: God is against His people. He is judging us for our sin and apostasy, our backslidden state, our love and compromising with the world and seeking to make friends with His enemies.
I fear the Lord and do not ever want to be presumptuous in claiming He is acting a certain way when, in fact, He may be acting in the exact opposite. I write this to say that these views of mine are my opinions as I see things. But saying this, I believe I have a firm scriptural basis for believing as I do; without such a basis, who even cares what our opinions are? Only those opinions that align with our King should be given serious consideration; all others are simply not worth considering due to the brevity of our life on this planet: we can’t wast time on foolish speculations.
My scriptural basis for believing that God is against His people derives from a careful reading of Deuteronomy chapter 28. It is worth studying and meditating upon for days, weeks and even months. And if you read and mediate upon this chapter, you will never believe that America is being blessed by God but rather is in the very midst of His awful, terrifying judgment. And it is only becoming progressively worse as each day passes.
Certainly we are still enjoying the fruits of God’s blessings that has been abundantly poured down upon America for centuries. We still have plenty to eat and drink, more money than we can wisely spend, palatial and beautifully decorated and comfortable homes to live in, reliable transportation to take us wherever we want or need to go, etc. One cannot say that we are suffering like, for example, those unfortunates in Somalia.
But no rational observer can fail to see that this perpetual gravy train is coming to an end. Christians are losing freedoms at an astonishing rate. We will soon lose the freedom of free speech and even now, have to carefully watch what we say unless we “misgender” someone and face lawsuits and possible jail time. Just look at what is happening in Canada with the death of free speech and you will see where America is headed.
The bell is tolling for American Christians. Our enemies have been plotting our ruin, seeking to silence us for decades, and wish to dismantle and destroy our influence in the culture. And they have made astonishing progress and now smell “blood in the water”: their soon conquest over us is within their grasp and they are going “all in” to complete their complete subjugation of our influence in society. They will soon force us to bow before them and recognize them as our new masters and lords.
If what I am saying is only half true, can this possibly mean that “God is for us”? Can we say that God intends to bring us a “revival” to suddenly make things right and restore what we have already lost?
I think it is long past time that Christians wake up and smell the coffee. The signs of our judgment and impending doom are all around us, screaming for us to take notice.
Americans—particularly Christians—have a problem: for the most part, we tolerate everything and stand for nothing. There is no evil, no matter how extreme, that “Christian America” will stand in opposition to.
Take two of the latest acts of sheer evil that has washed over this country: Drag Queen Story Hour and Democrats in New York legalizing late-term abortions. Both of these abominations target the most innocent, precious and defenseless of all life on the planet: young children.
You must read this article and watch the video attached to it in order to understand what I mean.
Here is a Virginia House delegate openly advocating for the murder of infants all the way up to birth. We would not even treat pet dogs in this barbaric, inhumane and cruel fashion but would rise up and burn the place down where the dogs were being euthanized.
The government of the United States no longer represents the cherished values of the majority of its citizens and has not done so for generations. Two cases in point: the legalization of abortion in 1973 and the recent legalization of so-called “same-sex marriage.” Both of these abominable rulings were forced down the throats of the majority of Americans against their will by the unelected, unaccountable ruling class: the majority of the members of the United States Supreme Court who exercise complete and total dominion over the USA. They are our rulers—our Kings and despots—and no longer “we the people.”
Both the federal and state governments have become destructive to our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” and have done so for generations. Every day we lose more freedoms and our cherished “unalienable rights.” Each day the chains of oppression and slavery tighten their grip around our throats; soon, we will become so powerless we will never be able to break free.
There is one solution, given to us by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence: abolishing the government. Here is our marching orders, labeled a “right” and a “duty” by our godly ancestors:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
Notice the careful wording: “…it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it…”
Later, the admonition becomes stronger: “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…”
This can only be accomplished by a second Civil War that will dwarf in every possible way our first Civil War. But the window for doing this is rapidly closing because more and more Americans are so brainwashed by political correctness that our thinking is becoming conformed to the very evil that is ensnaring us. Soon, the very men that can save our country by a violent overthrow will become so neutered that all of us will be led like lambs into the slaughterhouse, precisely like what happened to the Jews in WW2 in places like Auschwitz.
I have studied how a relatively few soldiers in concentration camps can control tens of thousands of prisoners in absolute subjugation, even when those prisoners, if acting in concert together, could easily storm these soldiers and overtake them.
Certainly there would be great loss of life on the part of the prisoners. But with their vastly superior numbers, they would prevail if they had the will and the leadership to “go for broke.”
And why not? What is more honorable, to die a grisly, painful and ignoble death by being pushed into a cyanide laced shower, or die like freemen fighting for liberty? Total annihilation is inevitable in the former, but there is hope for freedom and dignity in the latter.
Jesus commended the Church in Ephesus when He said, “I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people…” (Rev. 2:2(b) NIV) but He rebuked the Church in Thyatira when He said, “Nevertheless, I have this against you: “You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet…” (Rev. 2:20(a))
In America, the Body of Christ falls all over themselves in tolerating evil people. This manifests itself in the greatest of diabolical extremes when pro-life Christians actually seek to minister to abortion doctors and abortion clinic workers and buy them flowers or gifts in the hope that their “grace filled approach” will cause these baby murderers to somehow “see the light” and “come to Jesus.”
My reply? Try your “grace filled approach” with the concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany and see how far that will get you.
Christians in America are brainwashed by the false gospel of “cheap grace” and “sloppy agape.” Again, there is no evil in America that Christians will not tolerate and seek to “forgive.” None. Not one single act of evil.
And I’m sorry to say that even when the forces of evil that run this country will one day murder our families in the cruelest of fashions, when they throw babies up in the air and catch them on pitchforks like they did in Nazi Germany, deluded, brainwashed Christians will fall down on their knees before the murderers of their own flesh and blood and cry out, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”
A little known fact concerning Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW’s) is they are liars. Truth is neither honored nor valued in this false religious group.
My latest Youtube video proves this:
Beginning at timestamp 2:35, there is a JW who claims to be from the “Sheriff’s office.” Before I accidentally deleted this video (read here), I had several comments from various people who questioned whether or not a JW could be a member of law enforcement and carry a gun. The consensus was that they could not.
At timestamp 5:35, you can clearly read his name on his name tag: George Liebman from the “Kyrene Congregation” in Phoenix, AZ. Their phone number is (480) 961-3445.
George appears to be inferring he is a deputy Sheriff, wouldn’t you say? That is certainly the impression I get, further confirmed at 2:54 when he talks about “getting back up here and we can have you arrested.” And when he tells me at 5:35 that he would have “loved to lock me up,” that leaves no question of his purported authority as a member of law enforcement.
On July 31, 2014, I called the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office in Phoenix and asked them if a “George Liebman” worked there. No such person was listed, either under that spelling or under “Lieberman.” Nothing.
It appears that George was lying, behavior that I have previously run into dealing with JW’s.
In reviewing the video, I ask George, “Where’s your badge? (2:31)” My question appears to take him by surprise and he replies, “I don’t have it with me; I don’t bring it.” I’m no Sheriff’s deputy nor a member of law enforcement, but I was under the impression that an off-duty officer is required to carry both his gun and his badge at all times. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I have.
George clearly does not know what he is talking about in this short conversation. At all times in this video, I was on public property; any legitimate law enforcement officer should know this. When George first spoke with me, I was outside the convention center, underneath the expansive, protective overhang. Here, my constitutional rights to simply be walking around and videoing people is even more clear than when I was inside doing the same thing.
Again, a real police officer would have known this. There may have been some confusion even among experienced officers of my constitutional right to be videoing inside the building (though well-trained officers would certainly not be confused even in this setting), but not on the outside of a public building: it is clearly established that members of the public have constitutional rights to video anybody they want outside of tax-payer funded and built public buildings like convention centers. This is what we call a “no brainer.”
Also, what law enforcement professional would ever say something so unprofessional as “I’d just love to lock you up”? (5:34) All the evidence points to the fact that ole’ George Liebman was lying through his JW teeth.