The shooter was court-martialed form the military for assault his wife and child.
He had recently threatened in-laws using text messaging.
He had previously been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in east-central Colorado.
Court records indicate someone was granted a protection order against him in 2015.
But his in-laws were not at church last Sunday.
The pastor and his wife weren't there either.
Why did he pick that church? Who was looking for? Why on that day? - We don't know. We may never know.
What I did notice is this. 26 people dead, 20 injured in a church of 50 people.
This isn't a blog about gun control. That discussion is for a different time and place.
This blog is about what churches and people face every day.
I started preaching when I was 16 years old. I went to Bible College at age 17, married at 20 and graduated at 21. I served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, music minister, and worship leader until the age 25. At that time I became a Lead or what some call a Senior Pastor. I'm 54 now, and I can say without hesitation that for every year of ministry I, or my family, or members of my staff or people in my church have been threatened with physical violence.
Some threats have been made by mentally unstable people (diagnosed by professionals as such).
Some were drunk or high. Usually, they were apologetic when they sobered up.
Some were angry and knew no other way to express their emotions.
On more than one occasion I have had an angry husband call me because we were helping his estranged wife escape from his lifestyle of physical abuse.
Our world has a disturbing anger problem. It will not be going away anytime soon. Bullying, abuse and the like will continue. What can you do?
Job 1:8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?
A hedge of protection. In Biblical times you had to protect your home and livestock from lions, wolves, bears, leopards, hyenas, and thieves. You could build a wall but it would have to very tall, and it was costly. So, planting a hedge of thorn bushes that were too dense to crawl through and too thick to jump over was an excellent deterrent.
Before someone starts commenting or emailing me, "Pastor, are you saying that these people didn't pray? That they deserved this? Where was their hedge of protection?" I am not saying those things. Even in the worst of situations, God is always with us. I would not wish what has happened on my worst enemy. None the less, this has happened, and we need to pray for this church and their families. They have a long road of healing ahead of them.
What I am saying is, Pray. Pray a hedge of protection around you, your church, your marriage, your kids, your finances, and your future. Pray, pray, pray.
PRAY: Dear Jesus, I pray a hedge of protection around my life, my family, my church and my future. Protect us I pray - AMEN.
P.S. The pastor lost his 14-year-old daughter in this shooting. Please pray for the Pomeroy family.