A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power of Obedience to the Lord
It truly is amazing looking back over the past year of my life at the changes that have come as a result of simply being faithful to the Lord and His call to me. I don’t know why He has blessed me with the connections, associations, and friends that He has, but I am thankful for them and for His blessing. Some might look at what I am going to write here today and think that is comes from a place of pride, but it is not. As a longtime listener to such shows as the Hagmann and Hagmann Report, Infowars, and Caravan to Midnight, I never knew what all went on behind the scenes to make such broadcasts happen and I thought that it might be interesting to some of you for me to show some of that through an article, as well as recount this amazing year in service to our Lord. It has been a whirlwind of activity that I never saw coming – but I think that it is also worth telling because I feel that it is a good example of what happens when you put faith in the Lord, remain obedient to His word, and allow Him to take the lead in your life rather than you trying to forge your own way.
Bringing Them All Together…
It has been a little over a year since I first heard of the Hear the Watchmen conference being put together in Dallas, Texas, in March of 2016. I had heard of the White Stone Remnant conference and others that had happened over the past few years, but being on a tight budget, I just couldn’t afford the hotel, air fare, and ticket cost of most of the conferences that had happened up to that point – and that didn’t even consider whether or not I would be able to get leave approved to do it. So when I heard of this one being somewhat close to where I live and am stationed, I was very excited and enthusiastic about attending. I reached out to Mike Kerr through the Hear the Watchmen website and expressed my interest to going. To my surprise, I got a response directly to my email from the man, himself! We got to know one another as much as you can via email, and I had no idea at that point the role that Mike would play in the next year of my life, and I am eternally grateful to the Lord for the moving of the pieces around the chessboard that brought me together with Mike.
Over the next couple of months of exchanging emails with Mike, he soon introduced me to Jon Robberson, who has made multiple appearances on the Hagmann and Hagmann Report, Caravan to Midnight, and the Josh Tolley Show. Jon and I have talked many times about our first few emails and phone calls back and forth, and one thing I truly believe in my heart is that our first meeting was truly orchestrated by the Lord. We immediately hit it off and, as I have told him multiple times over the past few months, I had the sense right away that he and I would work together on something. I didn’t know then what it would be, or how it would all come together, but I knew that the Lord had plans for us both, and that it would be together that we would fulfill those plans.
Now, as some of you know, I have been doing news aggregation for around 4 years across multiple social media platforms, and it was really only within the last year that I have started writing my own articles on a consistent basis. In February of this year, through Twitter, I made the acquaintance of Dr. Mike Spaulding, pastor of the Calvary Chapel Church in Lima, Ohio, who also does his own broadcast called Soaring Eagle Radio. Again, what seemed to start off as a completely chance encounter would reveal itself to be the Hand of the Lord moving in order to bring two people that likely would never have otherwise met, together. Pastor Mike and I exchanged a few messages on Twitter, then via email, and the friendship has blossomed from there, and I am truly blessed that the Lord acted to bring a spiritual mentor into my life, again bringing the right people at the right time for maximum effect in my own walk with the Lord. And as this story continues forward, you will see that all of these seemingly chance encounters, introductions, and movements by God (and still being made by God) are instrumental to what would come together on 31 August in my appearance on the Hagmann and Hagmann Report.
Shortly before the conference in Dallas, Jon introduced me to Chance, the owner of American Survival Wholesale. For those of you who don’t know Chance, I will tell you that this man is the real deal. He shared with me his testimony and his call from the Lord to prepare His people. He shared the mission of American Survival Wholesale and the work that he does with veterans and people around the world that have no other means to prepare for the worst. We talked about my impending retirement and transition and prayed together over the phone. Chance takes phone calls every day to help people get prepared and to also offer counsel and prayer to veterans and others in need of someone to reach out to. It is people like Chance and his service to the brethren that make this world a little brighter place.
Finally, March would arrive. I brought my son along with me to the Hear the Watchmen conference in Dallas. I have always had problems sleeping before a trip and this one was no different. I think my son and I slept for maybe an hour that night before departing for Dallas. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that going into the Christmas season of 2015, I had contacted Mike Kerr and explained to him that despite my great desire to attend, I would not be able to because with the holidays and some financial troubles that came up between our initial contact and then, my bank account was looking pretty dry. I wished him well with the conference and told him I would be interested in buying the DVD set when it became available. I was floored when he got back into contact with me and let me know that there was money set aside for veterans to attend the conference and that he would aid me in getting to the conference through these funds. He flew us to Dallas from Central Texas rather than us driving, but we had an extremely early flight out that morning, and so the little sleep we had would again play a role in what would transpire at the conference.
We arrived in Dallas and then at the hotel relatively early in the morning. Thankfully, we were able to check in. After stowing our luggage, being a bit ragged from the little sleep we had gotten, we returned to the lobby to get some coffee from a café there. And who would be in line just in front of us, but Douglas J. Hagmann. We had a brief conversation there but a little later we would again cross paths. It was unseasonably brisk in Dallas during the entirety of the conference. Spring time in Texas is usually a bit on the warm side, even in North Texas, but that March morning was cool and windy. My son and I could use some of that cool air to help us wake up a little before registering for the conference and so we stepped out onto the back patio and again ran into Doug. This time we had a conversation for a bit longer and if you have never had the pleasure of meeting Doug and Joe, I will tell you that they are indeed the people that they are on the show – genuine, warm, and friendly. After meeting with Mike and getting registered for the conference, Mike showed us to the main auditorium where we had the opportunity to briefly speak with Chance and his crew as they set up the American Survival Wholesale booth. Before the end of the conference, I would also speak to Joe, and Jon introduced me to a few people including Paul McGuire and Eric (the Tech) that works behind the scenes on the Hagmann and Hagmann Report and was working on the audio and visual side of the conference. I also had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Pastor Flip Benham and the last morning briefly talked with Sheila Zilinsky. Before leaving the event, I spoke with Mike Kerr and asked his permission to write an article summarizing the conference, to which he agreed, and you can find that article here. As we departed the final day of the conference, we shared a bus ride to the airport with Gregg Jackson and it was absolutely the most enjoyable bus ride I have ever had. Upon my return, I reached out to Gregg via email and we have since exchanged emails fairly regularly and he has even given me permission to post some of his articles here to Outlaw Patriot News.
Following the conference, sometime down the road, Jon would contact me with news that he and Mike Kerr were considering starting their own show. In the run up to the launch of Brothers on the Wall, he and I would have multiple “spit-balling” sessions for ideas on the tone of the show and creative content. I was offered the opportunity to join the crew of the show as a contributor, which I accepted. Another man that attended the Hear the Watchmen conference in Dallas would also join the creative team behind Brothers on the Wall, Steven Menking, who had also been working for some time on the Amateur Society, and we felt like we had assembled a mighty core for putting together unique content for the show to pair up with the guests that would be appearing. And we had some awesome guests for the show, like Pastor Paul Begley, Pastor Billy Crone, L A Marzulli, Pastor David Lankford, Pastor Flip Benham, Pastor Mike Spaulding, and many others. Recognizing the fact that we are commanded not to simply follow our own calling, but to encourage our brethren in their calling, Jon and Mike introduced the Community Watchmen segment to the show, bringing up people from all over the nation that were doing the Lord’s work in their own communities. I sincerely wish that there were archives online for the show now; as there were powerful interviews and testimonies during this short-lived show that I think even hearing in archive would have great effect in the lives of people around the country and around the world.
However, it is one thing to be a guest on a show and quite another to run your own show. With no support staff and doing all of the show preparation and booking, as well as promotion, and trying to supplement the show with writing content across multiple platforms, the show went from being something we enjoyed to a full-time job in its own right. There were creative differences in opinion and the show really went from what was the original vision into something altogether different. In many ways, I believe we were trying to put the horse before the cart in building the show and instead of build incrementally, we tried to start off as a show as big as some of the ones I mentioned earlier in this article, all with a team that never took the time to really get to know one another outside of the show, and with little to no communication on what was going on. There was an unequal relationship between the various parties that stifled creativity and ego got in the way of creating an environment for the Holy Spirit to come in and lead the show. Ultimately, the show would fall apart under the weight of these and other factors that simply cannot be a part of God’s work (1 Corinthians 5: 9-13). While some will point to this short-lived endeavor as a failure, I would point out that there were a good deal of lessons learned and there were powerful moments that I will never forget on the broadcasts.
Following Brothers on the Wall, Jon, Steven, and I, together with Pastor Mike Spaulding have come together in fellowship over conference calls in support of and encouraging one another. Truly, it is this encouragement and mentorship under Pastor Mike that has led me to grow much more than I was before. All things happen for a reason, and perhaps it is the timing of the end of Brothers on the Wall that was good because it was at that time that I also shifted into high gear in the transition phase of my retirement from the military. As anyone that regularly checks this humble blog will know, over the past couple of months I have not written with the same regularity as I had been. But with just under 30 days of service left, and that while on terminal leave, I have found employment following my service and am finally moving forward. But the title of this article is “From Hear the Watchmen to Hagmann & Hagmann”, and though it is already less of an article and more of a novella, I feel that I have finally laid the groundwork to move into talking about the workings behind my appearance.
The Hagmann & Hagmann Report…
Jon and I had talked for some time about me going on the Hagmann & Hagmann Report as I got closer to my retirement, and as it drew nearer, he told me to start preparing an outline of what I would like to cover on the show. About a month ago, he contacted me and let me know that after speaking with Joe and Doug, they had given their approval for me to come on as a guest. It should also be noted that during the conversation Doug and I had at Hear the Watchmen, I had told him that I would send him my resume so that he could look it over and verify who I was and what I had done in the military, and upon my return from the conference, I did just that, sending it to Doug via Jon. So, meeting me, having my resume, and Jon vouching for me is what I suppose gave them the confidence to allow me to come onto their show. I had made a previous appearance back in April of this year on a show titled “Where is the Church? Are the Epistles Lost in the Mail?”. Although it was a small segment just before the main show, I will tell you that I was so nervous I could barely talk through that segment. That had been the first time that I had been on any broadcast, and I knew how many listeners that Hagmanns generally had, making me more than a bit uneasy. However, between that time and now, I had been on Brothers on the Wall a few times and had been interviewed on the Prepper Recon podcast, so most of those jitters were working themselves out. I also had gone back and listened to almost every broadcast I had done up to the point of this latest with the Hagmanns, taking notes on mannerisms of my speaking that I wanted to cut out or limit (I’m sorry, I can’t do much with the tone of my voice or my accent! J I tried getting rid of the accent when I lived in California with a little success, but being back in Texas it has come back full force!).
Although I had a general idea of what I wanted to talk about, I will admit that I had not put most of it down in notes until Jon called me on 29 August to tell me that I would be going on the show two days later. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed because I felt like I had tons of work to do to get the show together, but here I want to give praise to the Lord, because the first thing I did after getting off the phone with Jon was to sit down and pray. I asked the Lord to guide me, to give me what He wanted me to talk about, and to give me the resources to do His work. Over the next couple of days, I constructed my notes, but I also spent plenty of time on the phone with Jon, bouncing ideas with him, plenty of time in prayer and also emailed my brothers Steven and Pastor Mike. But here is where the Lord worked behind the scenes – I sent Jon my notes on what I wanted to talk about for him to pass on to the Hagmanns so they had an idea of what to expect when I came on (for those that don’t know, not only does Jon make his own appearances from time to time on the show, but he also has put together and brought several shows to the Hagmanns, doing his part to give back to the show that gave him an opportunity). Jon read over it, and I know from our conversations that spawned from this, was struck by my notes on the financial woes of the lower enlisted ranks in our military. Probably like many of those that have never been in the military, he just assumed that once someone entered the military, everything was taken care of for them, whether single or not. Jon immediately got on the phone to Chance and discussed the issue with him, and they put together the package that would be offered during my appearance from American Survival Wholesale. I know both of these men well enough to know that they want no credit for this package, and that they put all of the glory directly at the feet of Jesus Christ – but as I often tell them, it is their obedience to God that I give thanks for. They are not simply waiting for someone else to do the work that needs to be done, they are going and getting the job done, day after day, to bring the Word to people and to help our brethren. Much of that goes on without many people knowing who is behind it, but they deserve credit in staying obedient to the Lord in helping others. When Jon told me what he and Chance had put together, I will tell you that tears came to my eyes that I would be allowed by the Lord to play a small part in this work.
The day of the show, I spoke to Jon in the morning to go over some last minute notes, then Joe a little after noon to make sure that I knew how I was to connect for the show and also to just talk a little about show protocol. I spent the later part of the afternoon in prayer, as I have in the past when going on shows, for the Lord to empty me out and use me as a vessel to further His work. At the same time, my brothers that I fellowship with regularly, Steven Menking, Pastor Mike Spaulding, and Jon Robberson, all did a conference call wherein they also prayed for my appearance. While I admittedly did have a few jitters when I first went on the air, I will tell you that I could feel the power of not just my prayer, but the prayers of my brothers giving me calm and ease. I would also say that the style of Doug and Joe played a huge role in my comfort level, as well, as being there on the show you quickly forget that you are on the air with thousands of listeners, but you really do feel like you are just sitting at the kitchen table with the two of them having a conversation. And I suspect that were others out there praying for this show, whether for me directly or the show overall, but I could feel the power of those prayers, and I could feel the Holy Spirit guiding me in what I said.
I still, now 10 days later, have not gone back and listened to the show. I have no desire to do so…I feel like it was the culmination of a good deal of hard work and prayer, but I don’t feel the same impulse to go back and critique myself, because much of that appearance wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit. What I will say, and I am not sure if you could hear it on air, is that during the breaks and during the show, I was getting text messages from both Jon and Chance telling me that their phones were blowing up from veterans they knew all over this country reacting to what I was saying. And that, to me, tells me that the appearance had its desired effect from the Lord – to encourage my brethren and brothers (and sisters) in arms. If that is the case, then this supply drop landed squarely On the Objective, delivering the right message, at the right time, for maximum effect.
So, now you know how the players were put into position and the action they took in order to bring about the culmination of this one appearance. But what has been the impact? I began this article one week ago this morning, got about halfway through it, and then set it to the side. However, I received an email this morning from Jon that re-inspired me to finish it up. Since the evening of 31 August, Chance reported to Jon that he has shipped 55 packages out to military, law enforcement officer, and border patrol families in need! I had just woken up and checked my email to receive that, and tears came to my eyes. I praise the Lord this morning for the opportunity to have been in any way associated with that work done through His servants in Jon and Chance, and that they would make this package available during my appearance on the Hagmann & Hagmann Report humbles me.
Beyond that, as I was reminded a couple of days ago during a phone conversation with Jon, out of the thousands of people that might listen, live or in archive, to any one show, if one person is brought to the Lord through that show, then our entire lives are worth that one soul being saved. And that, dear readers, is the ultimate impact of any show, article, or endeavor we as His servants can hope to have.
In telling this story, I hope to have the impact of encouraging those of you out there that might be doing your own broadcasts, blogs, or work within your communities. To let you know that the Lord is watching, He is working through you, and He will raise you up to have that ultimate impact. Continue to be obedient…to walk the walk as you talk the talk. I never would have thought a year ago that I would be lifted up to speak on one of the shows that I listened to on a regular basis – but the Lord put me in the right place at the right time. And all of us were born for this specific time, in this specific place, for a specific purpose. Some of us are born to write, some of us born to speak…some of us are taking action across this land to make the world a little better for everyone. But the key is this – you have to take action! This is not the time to sit idly by, or to hide away in your prayer closet. I understand, many of us have come under attack by the enemy throughout our lives, through addiction, through emotional and physical attacks, and through the actions of those that the enemy moves to place stumbling blocks in our way. But we, as the inheritors of the great promise that our Lord and Savior spoke that we have the authority to tread over all of the powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19) must use that authority to take the battlefield in this, the ultimate battle for the soul of man. May the Lord bless each and every one of you on this day and all those that come after!