Wednesday, April 29, 2009

P0st Apocalyptic........

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Here is some possible good news about video games and the end of the world.

Monday, April 27, 2009

SoutPort Dedication, Part Two

I did not anticipate many of the struggles and challenges we faced, I also didn't anticipate the many ways God would continue to build our Faith, this Church and His Kingdom. He made it abundantly clear that he would touch our world through SouthPort Community Church. Incidently, we were also encouraged during the early days of Southport Church by Rev. Steve Scott's Father, the Pastor who started the original Church of the Nazarene in West Sacramento Fifty years earlier. We owe so much to the vision and desire to touch the community to Rev. Scott and the pioneers who built that Church.

In late 2003, I believed God was calling my family to move on and we made the difficult decision to leave the place where we had seen God do so many things and brought so many wonderful people into our lives. After a time of transition, Pastor Bruce took over the reins of leadership and we left for Tucson in early 2004. While it was difficult to leave dear friends, who are more like family, I am pleased to see continued confirmation that our decision was the right one.

At this time of dedication of a new facility, I want to express my joy in seeing SouthPort Community Church moving into a new phase of ministry. I am confident that the leadership, under Pastor Bruce, will continue to bring you to a closer walk with the Lord, encourage you as you find your life's calling and purpose and help you see the hand of our Lord as he continues to build his Church and change our world.

Whether you were at this Church when we were still here, you started your journey with SouthPort after we left or this is your first Sunday, my family and I want you to know that you will continue to be in our prayers as you seek to grow in the Lord. We still care deeply for all of you and and are very proud and humbled that God let us be a part of such a great Church.


James & Diane Allerton

SouthPort Dedication

SouthPort Community Church, The Church of which I was the "founding pastor", had their dedication of their new facility this Sunday. They graciously asked me to attend, but I was unable to squeeze out the time for a drive or the money for a plane ticket. In lieu of that, they invited me to send a letter to have read to the congregation. I did, they did and here is the first half of that letter. i will post the rest tomorrow:

Phillipians 1:3-6 (NIV) says: "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

As we reflect on the incidents, activities and decisions of our past, their are, inevitably, some things that we are glad we were a part of, and some that we regret. Some events we wonder how we were ever blessed enough to be involved in and some that we wonder how we could have ever been so stupid as to get wrapped up with. And while we learn through all of our past experiences, there are some that we can continue to look back on to build our faith and confidence and to remind us of the joys
that God wants to bring to us.

The experiences that my wife and I shared with SouthPort Community Church are among those that we look back on when we need to remember how God works and how wonderful his plan really is.

In April of 1999, ten years ago this month, my family first became involved with SouthPort when, after a lengthy process, we were called to come to this community, help close a struggling established Church, sell the building and lead a planting of a new Church in that wake. Later that year, we stood with just a handful of people and decided that we would be launching the new SouthPort Community Church in the coming spring.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shootout at Miracle Valley

I went to a presentation today put on by the author of the book, Shootout at Miracle Valley and several of the deputies who were present during the events described in the book.

Are you at all familiar with this? In Miracle Valley, a small town southeast of Sierra Vista, the Rev. A.A. Allen had set up a Church/Bible College/Healing Center in the 1950's. A.A. Allen was one of the pioneer televangelists of the Pentecostal Healing/Prosperity movement.

By 1982, the Church facilities had been taken over by Pastor Francis Thomas and the Christ Miracle Healing Center and Church. they had become involved in increasing confrontations with the police, leading to church members driving to Sierra Vista to attempt to free a fellow Church member who had been arrested. The attempt came to an abrupt end on the highway to Sierra Vista when one of the three bombs church members brought with them exploded, killing one of them.

On October 23rd of 1982, Cochise County Deputies went with about 35 of them to serve some warrants in Miracle Valley. they were set upon by 200 or more church members who came at them with bottles, bricks, sticks, rakes and even shooting at them from distant houses.

The confrontation resulted in a deputy being shot a few times with a shotgun, one deputy succumbing later to injuries sustained from a severe beating and numerous deputies suffering broken knuckles, bruises, lacerations and the like sustained as they tried to defend themselves from the assaults.

In the picture above, Deputy Ray Thatcher was herded by about 5 women with makeshift weapons into a certain part of the field where this all happened. Once he was there, the women retreated for the approach of a rifle wielding man. The man, who turned out to be Pastor Thomas' son, was shot by Thatcher when he raised it towards him. Another man repeated the gesture, picking up the same rifle. The confrontation came to an end when Thatcher had to shoot him too.

The author highlighted the remarkable restraint of the deputies in the face of national media attention leading up to this event and a severe distortion of the facts afterward. I am pretty certain that bottle/brick/stick/shotgun/rifle wielding assailants facing police today might just be shot down en masse. I know that I would not hesitate too much to fire on attackers if I was as beleaguered as these fellows were.

The panel also described how the governor's office tipped of church members that police were coming to arrest some of them on warrants. I suppose it was an attempt to frighten them and diffuse the situation, but it led to the people having weapons and a plan ready to confront officers when they arrived.

The panels members had quite a bit more to say about the whole ordeal that I wont be able to share now, but here are some places to get a few bits:

Here is a blog with a collection of media coverage from the shootout.

Here is the site of someone who wants to get a hold of Miracle Valley and Re-open the Church and Ministries.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


To paraphrase a quote I heard today, The only thing about you that will be different five years from now will be because of the books you read and the people you meet.

So, how will you be different in five years? Or , do you prefer to stay the way you are?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Columbine tactics

Yesterday was, almost unbelievably, the 10th anniversary of the killings at Columbine High School in Colorado.

In this horrible event, which I am sure you are familiar with, the swat Team was on scene and ready to go in 45 minutes after the call came out. The police didn't get to some of the injured until hours after the shooting began and was well over. 45 minutes is actually a good response time to call out a SWAT team, the members being either at work somewhere else in regular uniform, or at home. They have to all assemble somewhere with their gear and someone has to bring the vehicles. After a quick briefing, they can do their thing. But, while 45 minutes is surprisingly quick for the cops on the outside, it is an eternity for people in the middle of being shot, or bleeding on the school floor.

As a direct result of this incident, Law Enforcement across the country are now trained in "active shooter" scenarios. At Columbine, the first two officers on the scene stayed back and traded shots with Klebold and Harris, trying to contain the scene and wait for back up, as they had been trained and directed to do. Now, in an "active shooter" situation, the first cops on the scene will team up and go stop the shooting immediately.

A cop might even have to dive in himself, if it will save lives. At the North Carolina nursing home shooting, a lone officer stopped the killings by going in himself and shooting the gunman. No waiting for SWAT, just go in and get it done.

We've done "active shooter" training, chasing a gunman through a school with just a couple of guys. While we were doing it, we got some complaints from parents that violent encounters, event though they were just for training and not done while any kids were around, were happening at the School. Yes, it is much better if nothing bad ever happens anywhere, including schools. But, if it does, it really does help to be prepared.

Here is some more info on how and why Columbine changed police tactics and here is wikipedia's description of the incident.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just in case

If you have been looking for work, here are some tips on how to nail an interview.

Or read the article and see more clips here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Brotherhood of the Broken

April 15th, in addition to being tax day, is also the deadline for us to take our vehicles in to have the emissions tested. Since I am convinced that the MVD is the evil domain of the anti-christ, this is a day we dread.

Our van has been having issues with emissions for the last couple of years. The Catalytic Converter, which by voodoo magic cleans the emissions, has malfunctioned and been replaced numerous times. Our other vehicle (my beloved old Toyota Pickup ala Micheal J. Fox's in Back to the future only without the nice paint job and now 25 years older) has been overheating on drives across town and leaks oil, brake fluid, radiator fluid, water, transmission fluid and whatever else you put in.

We knew the van wouldn't pass, but Diane gamely took it in so we could get the ball rolling on the whole deal before we were required to place the mark of the beast on our forehead or some other fine just so we could have something to drive. That thing is at the shop now. Which reminds me, I need to call and see if they have made any progress at all. I waited until the 15th to take the truck in.

Since I have this nasty habit of digging life applications out of most things that I see going on around me, I was reminded of how difficult life can be. Things break down, go south, take a turn for the worst and gravely disappoint us. Friends and family get sick or die, we get sick or die. What we desperately counted on just doesn't materialize. We don't get the money we need, our friends let us down. I have, this year, seen some huge disappointments in my life, in the lives of friends and with my family.

So what do we do? We call out to God and let him know that we need his help. We even help him out by letting him know how he could best help us. But oh so often, that help does not materialize. So what then? Do we give up and bid him adieu and wallow in our sorrow? I suppose many do.

But others continue to wait on him to do his thing. Even when they seem like losers for admitting they can't handle stuff and when he doesn't seem to ever come and quite do his thing. At least, not in the way we had hoped.

By the way, the truck actually passed it's fiery ordeal. And sometimes we do get surprised by the way things can eventually work out for the best.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is he for real?

Billy Bob Thornton in an interview on Canadian radio with host Jian Ghomeshi. He is on tour with his new band and is offended when the hosts mentions his film career. I think the whole thing is staged. He is an actor. Either way, it is pretty funny...and long. 13 minutes worth of it. Watch if you want.

He Is Risen

He Is Risen Indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Missing a couple of fingers......

During the Hundred Years War (1337-1453), British Archers were so feared that, when they were captured, the French would remove their two shooting fingers so they could no longer draw a bow.

Here's a thought:
What is the defining thing about you that your enemy would want to cut off if he ever had a noose around your neck and your back against the wall. What is it that you do that you are good at, and everyone knows it?

Think about it. I know there is something.

Abby's B-day

Abigail turned 11 this year. New bike. I fixed Ethan's too, so he could ride with her. Here are some pictures of the party she shared with her Grandpa.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Drink this, not that.

I'm not a drinker, but if you need an excuse.............The story says that Aurthur Guinness, the founder of the Guinness Brewery, was concerned about the whiskey drinking habits of Irish men and felt called to make a drink that would be good for them. Good as in it would be more difficult to get drunk, yet people would still drink and enjoy it. Apparently the idea sold, since they are still around, having started in the 1700's. Aurthur also came to be known as an influential christian businessman and philanthropist.

St. Patrick was a believer that radically changed the face of the Christian faith and was instrumental in transforming Ireland from a dark, dangerous and superstitious place.

Now, we commemorate St. Patrick by drinking beer. It seems to be the Irish thing to

So, in honor of beer:

One night at Cheers, Cliff Calvin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:

"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Exported to Mexico

I was saddened to see in the news this morning that two more in our community died as a direct result of these being so readily available.

Most cops I know really hate to see what happens when the wrong people get their hands on them. And they think most people's hands are the wrong ones.

They are a scourge that is responsible for more deaths than anything else in this country. Look at the statistics over the last 30 years. You will see how much death and devastation they cause.

I know most people say they are only a tool, it is the people that kill, not them. But c'mon. It would be soo much harder to kill without them.

Yes, they helped tame the west, they have made it possible for people to eat and survive, they are a symbol of our freedom. But in this day and age, are they really necessary?

Now I have seen how they are flowing like water in a river to Mexico, causing death and despair over there.

So, I am thinking about promoting some legislation to ban automobiles in this country. Whaddya think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This was my stop.

Here is the text from a KVOA report on a traffic stop that one of my squad members and I did last night:

Search continues for 5 who fled from traffic stop

Border Patrol is continuing it's search for five people who fled the scene after a traffic stop just after 8:00 p.m. tonight.

The Pima County Sheriff's Office deputy tried to make a traffic stop when the driver of the vehicle quickly pulled off I-19, just south of Valencia Rd. The vehicle pulled into the desert.

Ten people jumped out of the vehicle. Five fled the scene, five stayed, and one person hurt their knee.

Border Patrol took the five people who stayed into custody.

Stay with News 4 for the latest on any new developments.

Old Soldiers......

Do you remember the movie, "We Were Soldiers". The author's of that book, Hal Moore and Joe Galloway, wrote this follow-up book, "We Are Soldiers Still", which I recently read.

The original book is required reading at military academies and focuses on the battle for the Ia Drang valley and the struggles the soldiers and their families faced during this time. "We are Soldiers Still" looks at the lives of those who fought there in the time since, centering around return trips to Vietnam that the authors have taken. It includes highlights of interviews with former Vietnamese combatants in the Ia Drang, the stories of what happened to many of the survivors and General Moore's insights into leadership, war and life in general.

He also talks about his wife, who was featured prominently in the movie. You might remember her bravely going in person to the homes of all the wives of those lost in the battle, as the Army's system for death notification at the time was to send a taxi cab with a telegram. She fought for a change and the Army relented, returning to more proper notifications....if any system can be called proper for such a horrible and unpleasant event.

One thing he brings up is how he didn't believe that if the U.S. Govt. had been better students of history, they might have been more circumspective about entering a war with Vietnam. Vietnam had a history of driving out invaders, including repeated wars with China and the recent defeat of the French. What wasit that made the U.S. think that we could effectively outlast a people that had fought similar invaders for generations?

It makes me consider our current state of world affairs. the current administration has announced an upcoming increase in troops to fight in Afghanistan. The Afghans (that we called freedom fighters during the Soviet occupation), have been involved in a Civil war since 1978. the Soviets were involved from 1979-1989 and that involvement resulted in devastating effects for their army and, some speculate, their economy. As Rudyard Kipling informs, the British were in on the action, being involved in three wars that led to the deaths of many young Brits.

We have some of the finest, best equipped soldiers in the world. I hope and pray they are thoughtfully and effectively deployed when the need arises.

And, if this post isn't long enough, here is the Song Sgt. Mackenzie from the movie "We Were Soldiers". I think I will watch that movie again.