I was leaving an ATM machine at 7:54 pm in a well-lit bank parking lot when I looked to my left and saw a young guy with a gun pointed at me. To make a long story short, he wasn’t satisfied with the $20 I had in my wallet. (I never carry lots of cash if I can help it.) “I’ll %!&# shoot you, I swear, if you don’t withdraw all the money in your account,” he said calmly and deliberately. Not wanting to make my wife a widow, I didn’t argue except to tell him that there were cameras everywhere and that he was going to get caught. I told him that he wouldn’t shoot me for only $200. When I handed him the cash, I showed him my ATM receipt. “See? That’s all I have.” I lied, but he didn’t look carefully. He told me. “Stand there for five minutes and don’t move.” As soon as he disappeared, I called 911 on my cell phone, which I had left in my car.
I then had to spend an hour with the police in the parking lot. They brought in a helicopter with infrared sensors and a police dog. They were able to trace the fresh scent to a dumpster and the helicopter was able to tell them that there was a “hot spot” where a vehicle had just been. Fascinating. I also had to drive half way across to town to spend another hour with a composite artist and we produced the following.
I realize the danger in posting this, but hopefully this guy won’t spend a lot of time reading Blogs before he gets caught. And he will get caught eventually. There is a $5000 reward being offered in such cases. And he’s not that smart. He was in plain sight of cameras and his face was exposed. If it were me, I would have also asked for my victim’s wallet, cell phone and car keys, I would have been wearing gloves and I would have thrown them in the dumpster. That would have given him a few more minutes. I learned a lot from this. I thank God I was not shot and it only cost me $220 to take steps to avoid this happening in the future.
How not to be robbed
1. Avoid ATMs whenever possible. I was shocked at how easily I caved in upon the threat of being shot dead, but somehow $200 wasn’t worth it. Unless it is a crowded area with armed security in sight, or it is an emergency, make all your deposits during bank hours. I only went to make deposit a check, but from now on, I am not using ATMs to do this. Nowadays, you can use your debit card in convenient stores and supermarkets to withdraw cash when making a purchase. It’s no guarantee, but it is less likely that you’ll be robbed in a store than in a parking lot.
2. If you are alone, have a cell phone with you. Keeping this in the car was probably a good idea in my case, because if the thief wanted to steal it, I still had to unlock the car to get the cell phone. The police later asked me why I didn’t use my cell-phone camera to take a photo. I was amazed that they actually asked this. The guy had a gun, and he would have taken the camera and possibly shot me in the process.
3. Remain calm and cooperate. I’ll admit upon seeing a gun, my first thoughts were, “Is it a toy?” but upon being threatened I decided that no amount of money I could withdraw from an ATM is worth my life.
4. If you are being robbed at gunpoint take your time. Don’t move too fast or too slow. If the thief’s face is in view, make a good mental picture of what he looks like. Pay attention to the eyes, eyebrows, cheekbones, mouth, chin and facial hair. Try to remember it. I was surprised when the composite artist showed me mug shots of people who had been arrested next to drawings she had made. Some were almost perfect representations. These were all drawn just from composite books and the victim’s memory. It’s likely that the thief will think he’s clever and won’t be caught. If he keeps robbing people, eventually he will be caught. That composite photo is going to be invaluable to other people besides you.
How should we then live?
We live like we are never going to die. We don’t think about how violent our culture has become. We see it, but don’t think it could happen to us. It’s important to think out these scenarios. How can we be act to be safe? What is the right thing to do in every imaginable emergency?
Last week, there was a death in my wife’s family, I had to break up a fistfight between two sixteen-year-old students in my school, and today someone pointed a gun at me. Each in their own way, these emergencies were new experiences to me. It has made me think about things differently. I am asking the same question the disciples posed, “How should we then live?” (Luke 3:10; Ezekiel 33:10).
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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